The San Diego Botanic Garden on Quail Gardens Drive in Encinitas received a proclamation from the County Board of Supervisors recognizing its “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to environmental stewardship.”
In a ceremony on Saturday, April 24, led by Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer, April 24 was declared “San Diego Botanic Garden Day” throughout the county.
The 37-acre nonprofit garden, which opened in 1970 as the Quail Botanical Gardens, contains some 5,000 plant species and varieties from across the globe. The grounds include 15 demonstration gardens representing different regions of the world, ranging from a tropical rainforest, desert gardens and subtropical fruit garden to Mediterranean climate landscapes and California native plants. Its bamboo grove is billed as the largest public bamboo collection in North America.
More than 4 miles of trails wind through plants and trees, ranging from towering pines to small African sausage trees, or along small brooks, lily pad-covered ponds and a waterfall.
The garden has three children’s gardens, including the 1-acre Hamilton Children’s Garden, intended to inspire a love of nature in young visitors as well as older nature enthusiasts.
Each year the garden’s educational programs typically reach more than 1,000 area students through field trips and classroom sessions, especially in underserved schools, where children might not have the chance to learn about nature first hand.
The nonprofit was honored for its internationally-known plant conservation and educational programs. Recent accomplishments include collecting more than 20,000 seeds from native endangered species for long-term conservation in seed banks and assisting in the genetic sequencing of nine of 11 species in the ocotillo family of desert plants native to Southern California and surrounding areas.
The Botanic Garden, which is supported by hundreds of volunteers, was recognized for its recent work helping in 165 wild plant collections throughout the county and restoring 15 acres of natural area bordering the nearby Cottonwood Creek Park. Garden staff and volunteers are working on removing weeds and invasive species in sensitive habitats and improving endangered bird habitat, along with adding to the beauty of the park’s trail by planting more flowering natives.
— Linda McIntosh is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune