MONTEREY BAY BOTANICAL GARDEN --- The Premier Botanical Garden in Northern California
Look to this page for continuing updates on the progress of the premier botanical garden currently under conceptual and site development.
For links to Famous Botanical Gardens around the globe, scroll to the bottom of this page.
This website is a provisional website during the initial development of the project. Soon, this first site will be archived, and a more expansive site will be developed to accommodate the growing need of the project's development. It is projected that there will be at least three interim websites before the gardens are opened to the public. Following the Grand Opening, an operations website will be developed for the Visitors to the gardens to access, and these developmental websites will be archived. But don't worry, the links given below will be retained on all the websites we develop, though they may be split into separate categories and found on various different pages of the operational website. The links are provided to give the visitors to this website an idea of the extensive contacts that are being developed by the managers of this project. Simply click on the link to take you to that web page.
The Monterey Bay Botanical Garden is privately owned, and supports non-profit organizations that further its mission. It is being designed as a premier scientific botanical garden linked to botanical gardens, universities and colleges, and other scientific institutes around the globe. Because of the extreme beauty of having publicly displayed botanical specimens, it is also being designed as a commercial enterprise tourist attraction. Monies derived from the commercial operation will support the scientific endeavors. Part of the commercial side will be to support the extensive agricultural community of the Monterey Bay area. The Visitor Orientation Center will have a large arena for showcasing the abundance of the Monterey Bay Area. The community teems with vineyards, orchards, and vegetable crops, flower nurseries, etc. and the Salinas Valley is often referred to as the "Salad Bowl of the World". Extensive vineyard operations now make Monterey and Santa CruzCounties superior to the wine-tasting tours offered by Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
The Visitor Orientation Center will serve as a premier advertising location for selected vintners, fruit-nut-berry-produce growers, flower nurseries, and others in the agricultural industry. Outdoors will showcase displays of how the region's crops are grown, at various stages of growth. The anticipated visitor flow will be comparable to that through the Monterey Bay Aquarium sited on the Monterey Peninsula - approximately 2,000,000 Visitors per year. While the focus of the botanical garden will be on science, and in particular on botany, there will be extensive opportunity for growers to showcase the application of botany to human experience. A fruit smoothie made from local strawberries, blackberries or raspberries will certainly bring visitors flocking to sample the local produce. The wine tasting room will be on par with the finest wine-tasting rooms of California. The aroma of chocolate will waft from the chocolate bar. And the Garden of Eating (TM) will serve the finest sandwiches, salads and other delicacies to our esteemed visitors.
In addition, the Visitor Orientation Center will double as a cultural venue for the Monterey Bay Area. Evening concerts, Weddings, Business Meetings, and other social events will be hosted at the facility, not only garnering additional revenue but also providing a wonderful forum for the performing arts, etc..
The tropical 'glass'-house, adjacent to the Visitor Orientation Center, will be home to a huge variety of flowering tropical plants. Orchids, Bromeliads, Heliconiasand other exotic tropical plants will bloom in abundance. Epiphytic plants will grow as they do in the wild - on the trunks and branches of trees - not in pots as grown by the commercial orchid and bromeliad nurseries.
Charter Memberships will commence in the near future. We anticipate approximately 300,000 Charter Memberships from the residents of the Monterey Bay communities. This compares with the approximately 107,000 Charter Memberships drawn from the smaller Monterey Peninsula community during the offering by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1984.
We do not anticipate developing a ride-based theme park like the nearby Santa Cruz Boardwalk, though we will offer the tourists and locals alike who are visiting in Santa Cruz to drive a few miles south to soak in the beauty and experience of our botanical world. Similarly, we do not anticipate developing a golf course, as there are extensive courses on the nearby Monterey Peninsula such as Pebble Beach, etc. Instead, we will invite those visitors and tourists to the Monterey Peninsula to drive a few miles north to experience our exotic collection of tropical plants, wonderful color gardens, and fantastic food venues.
Since the Monterey Bay area (Monterey Peninsula, Salinas, Watsonville, Santa Cruz) itself has a tremendous visitor flow of approximately 13,000,000 Visitors annually, based on Visitor Statistics kept for the region, we expect to capture only about 15% of that total Visitor Flow. However, we might be surprised by a substantially larger amount.
Q:Where is the botanical garden located? A:The precise location will not be disclosed until after the land acquisition has been finalized. However, it will be close to the Monterey Bay, between Seaside in the South and Soquel in the North.
Q:How large is the garden?A: The exact acreage will not be disclosed until after the land acquisition has been finalized. However, it will be somewhere between 100 to 200 acres.
Q:If I want to participate in the garden project, as a vendor or otherwise, how do I get involved?A: Go to the Contact Us page and send an email.
Q:When will the garden open to the public?A:The exact date has not yet been established. The actual construction of the garden will take an anticipated 2-3 years, making a tentative opening date in late 2015. Some pre-opening touring might become available.
Q:How much will admission cost?A: The exact pricing has not yet been determined, but a daily admission rate will be kept low, somewhere around $15/adult; Annual passes and Lifetime passes will also be available (as well as Charter Memberships).
Q:When will the garden be completed?A: Never. It will be an ongoing project in perpetuity. Constant plant additions to the garden will be sought, and various areas of the garden will mature and constantly need replacement of plants. However, most of the Main Garden will have been planted out within about 20 years after opening. Many of the trees will not be fully mature for centuries (such as Giant sequoia), so the garden will be constantly improving with age.
Q:How many species of plants will be in the garden:After twenty years of development we anticipate being the largest botanical garden west of the Mississippi. Upon opening to the general public, we anticipate more than 5,000 species, making it one of the largest botanical gardens in California.
Q:How much time should a visitor anticipate spending to see the botanical garden. To see everything, in all seasonal phases, of course would take one full year. To get a quick view of the beauty, for an average tourist family, we would recommend a minimum of two hours, and preferably half a day. The younger children (ages 5-12) might get bored after only 1/2 hour (short attention-span; as most parents know), and we will have playground opportunities, 'day-care' with gardening instruction, and other activities to keep them involved while their parents enjoy the main garden. To include a nice lunch with wine-tasting one should include an extra hour. A seasoned botanical garden visitor would require several days to visit all 5,000 species.
Q:What kind of education or research will be conducted?A: It is expected that student groups from local nearby schools will make this part of their extracurricular activity. Affiliation with nearby Universities will allow for the botanical garden to be used as part of their research facilities. Expected research will be in the areas of horticultural techniques, plant phylogeny, and agricultural techniques, and conservation. It is expected that research expeditions to remote regions of the globe will be funded for discovering plants not yet known to Western society. It will be the goal of the botanical garden that no visitor (student, tourist or otherwise) will leave empty-handed, but will take home at least seeds, if not matured plants, to plant in their own gardens.
Q:What phylogeny system will be used for plant classification? A: The botanical garden will use the most recent advances in phylogeny to-date, based on DNA studies and morphology, as adopted by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III (2009).
Q: Will you have tropical plants? A large Crystal Palace is planned to house the tropical collection. Tropical plants for indoor usage will also be available at the Gift Shop nursery.
Q: How does the Memorial Garden work? Persons who wish to remember a loved one with a memorial plant will make a small donation. The plant of choice will enter into the garden, either as a landscape plant or as part of the Main Garden. A computer database of all such memorials will be maintained, giving a brief biographical sketch of the loved-one, as well as information on the planting (US gps or Russian glonass location systems, or both; should the European Galileo or Chinese Compass systems become available, they will be added as well for multiple redundancy; the family-genus-species, etc.). Memorial plaques will also be available. Any species will be available, but certain landscape species are favored (typically California native species).
If you have a question you would like to see included in the above, please email us via the Contact Us page.