Help Conserve Native Plants

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Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow

With a gift to Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, you’re helping us plant the seeds for a brighter future, today.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Our EIN is 95-1644628.

Other Ways to Give

Let Me Count the Ways

Carrying out our mission to conserve native plants and habitats is possible only through support of advocates like you. From donor advised 501(c)(3) tax deductible donation funds, volunteering, to even donating crypto, there are many ways to show your support to the non-profit.

a note from
Steve Windhager, Ph.D.

In my frequent walks around the Garden, I am always so pleased to encounter our many long-time members. I often hear the same refrain: “The Garden has never looked better.” I certainly agree, and it’s thanks to your support — and our incredible horticulture staff out in the Garden every day — that the Garden continues to grow more and more beautiful.

But even beyond the visual beauty, our team of education staff, volunteers, and others are helping to reveal a hidden beauty that underlies native plants.

That superpower is the ability of these species to support California’s diverse array of wildlife. Last year alone, more than 100,000 Garden visitors (our annual limit) experienced that beauty, with their eyes opened to the power of native plants and inspired to add to their own gardens and local parks or open spaces.

By supporting and planting native plants, we are all supporting the diversity of life on our planet when it is most under threat from climate change, invasive species, and continued development pressure.

If we want to continue to increase our impact and spread the love of native plants to more people beyond Garden visitors alone, we need to get out into the community. Over the last year we have made progress on that goal, initiating several projects with partners around Santa Barbara County. For example, Director of Conservation and Research Denise Knapp, Ph.D., and her team currently are working to bolster biodiversity with a project at Elings Park, and this spring they’ll begin another project in the groundwater-dependent community of Cuyama.

Elings Park:
Located on the western edge of Santa Barbara, Elings Park is a 230-acre (93-hectare) public landscape that attracts over 200,000 visitors each year. Our work is being undertaken on a 1-acre (.4-hectare) plot of highly disturbed and weedy vegetation in the southern section of the park. Our team, supported by over 120 volunteers, has replaced the site’s weedy, nonnative vegetation with a diverse selection of native plant species (totaling over 1,300 plants) that will support the web of life — from beneficial insects to birds and beyond.

We don’t just talk about conserving native plants, your support allows us to do it. As a Garden donor, you can help us continue this work and help us reach our goal. Donate today!

Cuyama Conservation:
Work begins this spring on the Cuyama Conservation Project, which seeks to assist small farmers in the underserved, rural, high-desert, groundwater-dependent community of Cuyama in pursuing greater sustainability. This project is a partnership between the Garden and two Cuyama-based organizations, Quail Springs Permaculture farm and the Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center. Across six demonstration sites, we are planting native species that support beneficial insects, which pollinate crops and provide natural pest control, while reducing groundwater use to comply with California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA).

Two years of hydrological study and water modeling have determined that pumpers in the Cuyama Valley must reduce up to 60% of groundwater use by 2040 to comply with SGMA. This impending, drastic land-use change, coupled with the continuing impacts of climate change, requires implementing climate-smart land stewardship practices to prevent the degradation of soil and habitats, restore native ecosystems, and conserve water.

At the same time, we will be teaching and growing the next generation of conservation leaders. The Cuyama Conservation Project includes internships for five 11th-grade students to take part in nearly every aspect of the project alongside Garden staff and Quail Springs Permaculture sustainable agriculture experts. In addition, the Garden’s education staff are developing curricula related to this work for K-8 students in Cuyama Joint Unified School District.

Bringing together farmers and community members, we’ll create the changes needed to restore and protect the land. Your contribution today makes a difference.

These two projects and many others are leveraging the expertise of the Garden to ensure biodiversity thrives along the central coast. We aim to lead by example and set the standard for native plant horticulture and effective biodiversity conservation throughout the central coast with volunteers, students, farmers, our members, and daily guests! With your help, we’ll continue to build resources for native plant horticulture and effective conservation in our region and beyond. 

Join us on this journey. Your advocacy, participation, and financial contributions are instrumental in conserving and growing native plants and plant advocates.


Steve Windhager, Ph.D.

Executive Director at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

P.S. We urgently need your help to continue our work on these important projects. Last year, more than 600 people donated over $420,000. Help us beat that this year. Every little bit counts! 

*For more information about California’s 30×30 initiative, visit CaliforniaNature.ca.gov.

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