Deeply intertwined with the history and success of the North Carolina Botanical Garden has been the support received by the Botanical Garden Foundation (BGF). In the early days, that collaboration was crucial in launching the Garden. In 1966, a dedicated group of volunteers incorporated the Foundation and hired the first Garden employee in 1968. State appropriations for the Garden began in 1971, and the BGF moved on to raising funds for the first Garden building, the Totten Center, which opened in 1976, and the more ambitious James & Delight Allen Education Center, which opened in 2009.
Then as now, the BGF plays several roles: 1) we receive your donations and membership monies (which then combine with other funding sources to provide the Garden’s operating budget), 2) we hold and manage the Garden’s various endowment funds, and 3) we own and manage conservation lands and hold conservation easements in environmentally sensitive lands both contiguous to the Garden and beyond.
In addition, the experiences and skills of our board members enrich the Garden in countless ways, from committee work to being a sounding board to volunteering at the Garden in other capacities (watch out for us cleaning up Coker Arboretum or working on seed banking projects!). And we all make personal financial contributions to the Garden.
The BGF is managed by a board of directors and more actively by a smaller Executive Committee which also includes the Director of the Garden. Some of us are retired and some of us work full-time. We live in places like Chapel Hill, Asheboro, Raleigh, Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem. We are all united by our commitment for the Garden’s mission and the fun of interacting with its amazing staff! Learn more by visiting our webpage.
So we’re the path through which individual support for the Garden enters — and we’re turning 50 this year, so join in wishing us a happy birthday, will you?
President, Botanical Garden Foundation