I recently retired from the San Antonio Botanical Garden after more than 25 years there. I like to say I was there long enough to see my hair turn silver and a beautiful garden evolve. It was my special delight to see the Garden step into its role as a place for families to connect with nature. And don’t mistake the past tense in that last sentence – the Garden will always be at the center of my heart.
What the Garden offers our community is wide ranging: a place where we could all learn about better landscaping practices, a place where cultural experiences range from family exhibits (watch for the Nature Connects exhibit featuring LEGO bricks this upcoming Tricentennial year) to outdoor sculpture, and where kids can make that all-important, needed connection to nature. It’s a place where architecture meets landscape and a place to spread a picnic with friends.
With an amazing new eight-acre expansion on the brink of opening, the Garden is poised to step up as one of the finest regional gardens in the nation. The project is cutting edge, sustainably designed, and programmatically advanced. More about that later.
When I came onboard at the Garden in 1991 as a board member, I found it a place where I could engage. I was at a transition point in my life, and the Garden gave me an outlet for volunteering and channeling my creative energy. Soon I was involved with the newsletter, something I continued until this past May when I edited my final one. For 12 years in that era, I served as managing director of the nonprofit organization, and in the last few years have worked primarily in community relations.