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Rooted | September 3, 2020

By: Erin Anderson, Executive Director | 09/03/2020

Almost a month ago, I asked you what it was you love about the Garden. Is it the flowers blooming? Outlaw Field and Great Garden Escape concerts? The magic of Winter Garden aGlow? Or the sense of peace the Garden brings to you and the community? You responded in a big way to show us your support and shared how much you love all those things, and so much more.

“I am a member and love it! I’ve been visiting more often as a pleasant place to walk since I have not been going to the gym.”

“Our family loves the Botanical Gardens and everything it offers — from the Scarecrow Stroll to Garden Aglow to the summer camps. You are a treasure!”

“Thanks for all the creative ways that you are all trying to keep the Garden afloat. Don’t know what we would do without this community resource.”

“Please put this towards whatever you all need! I love the Idaho Botanical Garden. Good luck and wishing you all the best during these hard times!”

“We love your garden. We visit whenever we’re in Boise. It was sad to hear that you are struggling financially due to COVID-19. We pray that things will turn around soon. Hang in there.”

Since launching our membership and donation campaign, I have been overwhelmed by the support from our community. Garden memberships have taken a gigantic leap, donations small and large are coming in every day, our community has gone out of their way to get the word out about our fight to keep the Garden gates open. One of our even supporters went to her friend’s homes, literally tap dancing for dollars on their door-steps until they could make a donation. We love you, Sonya.

I am very happy to report that we met our $150,000 fundraising goal. In fact, with your help, we exceeded it! Together we raised $182,485. We’re amazed. Awestruck. Overwhelmed. Astounded. Flabbergasted. Shook. (But clearly not at a loss for words.) Thank you!  

$182,485 is a lot of money. I promise we are going to use it wisely. We have to. Even with your support, we are expecting a $600,000 revenue loss this year. But, we’ve tightened our belts a little more so we can keep those Garden gates open and will continue to host your favorite garden activities this fall and winter! So, what’s in store?

Before you know it, October will be here, and that means the Harvest Festival!

This year Harvest Festival is spread over several weekends to not overcrowd the Garden this year. We have also partnered up with some of your other community favorites like Lost Grove, Boise Bicycle Project, Storyfort, and more. Expect some of our tried and true activities like the straw maze, G-scale trains, and live music. We have added some new activities, like an outdoor movie night and maybe even something spooky! Stay tuned for more information.

And, of course, the fan-favorite, Winter Garden aGlow!

It’s going to look a little different this year. Because of popular demand (and most importantly, because of your financial support!) we start hanging lights this month! Look forward to the same beautiful twinkling lights, the wonder and delight behind each corner, and the holiday traditions you have grown to love.

Hate the crowds of years past? You’re in luck! We will be limiting capacity significantly to ensure the proper social distancing and safety for all. We will offer all tickets for purchase in advance to reduce person-to-person contact (and because with limited admissions, we expect to sell out early), and we are getting creative when it comes to the big man in red.

Expect to see more information in the coming months to purchase tickets to the event. Remember, members get early access to tickets and event vouchers too!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support and kind words of encouragement through this challenging time. It’s been a tough six months for our staff. The outpouring of support has been the encouragement we all need to keep up the work and continue to make the Garden the most beautiful and safe space we can.