Our History

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a private, non-profit corporation existing without state or federal funding. The garden is completely dependent on tax-deductible contributions from community-minded citizens, corporations, foundations, and site rental.


The Mission of the Idaho Botanical Garden is to provide a full garden experience for all ages that enhances community quality of life through plant collections, our education programs, and our entertainment, cultural and community events.

The Garden began as the vision of Christopher Davidson, Ph.D. in Botany, who brought together the Garden’s first Board of Directors in 1984. Their mission was to stimulate interest in, appreciation for, and an understanding of gardening, horticulture, botany and conservation of natural resources. This was to be achieved by development of a plant collection and education within an aesthetic landscape.

The Garden leases 33 acres from the State of Idaho. It is located on land once known as #2 Yard of what was once Idaho’s Territorial Prison and later the first Idaho State Penitentiary. State endowment lands in the Boise foothills behind the Garden are used for nature hikes and environmental education.

Approximately 15 acres are currently under cultivation.  Education programs and cultural events occur year-round. The success of the Idaho Botanical Garden is made possible by the support of its robust volunteer program and supportive Garden members.