Structure will be the Gardens’ “New Front Door”
SARASOTA, FLA. – April 10, 2017: In advance of unveiling a new master site plan for its 15-acre bayfront property, executive leadership at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is announcing that a future welcome center currently being planned will be named for longtime supporter and Sarasota philanthropist Jean Goldstein in recognition of a major new gift made possible by Alfred R. Goldstein, president of the Alfred and Ann Goldstein Foundation, Inc.
The Jean Goldstein Welcome Center will reintroduce Selby Gardens to the City of Sarasota and visitors from around the world. The center will highlight the Gardens’ world renowned botanical collections, tell the story of the institution, and showcase unique cultural and nature-based arts programs hosted and curated by the garden.
“This gift will help the Gardens to have a new front door – which is necessary to orienting the increasing number of guests – and it is paving the way for an improved parking experience, while showcasing the unique cultural and research positions Selby Gardens holds both locally and internationally,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “Al and Jean have long held Selby Gardens in their hearts and their support is critical to accomplish our strategic plans for expanding the amount of green space within the Gardens’ property and accommodating the growth in our visitor base.”
It is envisioned that the Welcome Center will house visitor services functions, as well as other operating needs. A construction timeline has not been set, Rominiecki said, pending additional fundraising efforts and the final site plan to be released later this year by the landscape architecture studio OLIN. The Philadelphia-based firm has spent the last several months conducting site visits, interviews and meetings with city planners, volunteers and professional staff to develop an actionable, feasible plan to expand garden space while also showcasing the Gardens’ collections and improve parking and walkability.
Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the research, study and conservation of epiphytes, or plants that grow on other plants without harming them, such as orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns.
The Goldsteins have supported Selby Gardens wholeheartedly over the course of the institution’s 40-plus year history, notably as lead supporters of the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden, which was named for Al’s late wife, and of the Gardens’ horticulture and arts exhibition series that bears the couple’s names, the Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series.
Key priorities for Selby Gardens over the next several years include obtaining greater recognition for its scientific research, adding rotating exhibitions, increasing events and partnerships, earning increased international media coverage, and expanding and improving the 15-acre Bayfront property.
Per acre, Selby Gardens is the most species-rich botanical garden in North America, if not the world. Selby Gardens has the second largest spirit [or “liquid-preserved”] collection of flowering plants following only the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It also has the third largest collection of preserved bromeliad plants and the fourth largest collection of preserved orchid plants in the U.S. as part of its herbarium. The Gardens is committed to worldwide plant conservation and education. For more information, visit www.selby.org, or call 941-366- 5731.
About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of tropical epiphytic plant species, including many orchid, bromeliads and gesneriads, with a focus on botany, horticulture and environmental education. For more information, please visit www.selby.org. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 900 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Christmas, regular admission $20 (ages 18 and up), ages 4-17 $10, Members and children 3 and under enter free. Contact us at (941) 366-5731 or selby.org. Get social with us on Facebook, Instagram and more by searching @selbygardens.