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A Message from the President and CEO

Jennifer on bayfrontThe year 2020 was challenging and filled with change at every turn—for our community, our state, our nation, and our world.

At Selby Gardens, we take comfort in the consistency of our annuals blooming, while also looking forward to the fruits of new seeds that are sown in turbulent weather— promising brighter days ahead.

When faced with challenges, the true necessity of preservation, resiliency, and sustainability becomes apparent. With that in mind, Selby Gardens has continued to persevere in our efforts to make vital improvements to our Downtown Sarasota campus through our Compromise Master Plan.

Designed to protect our history while sustaining our future, the Compromise Master Plan has allowed Selby Gardens to resolve concerns we heard from neighbors—such as the potential impacts of building height, restaurant scale, traffic, sound, and events. 

Most importantly, even with all of these compromises, we were able to retain key features that will result in our physical, financial, and environmental sustainability for the generations to come. We look forward to protecting our world-class collections, furthering our research, and sufficiently accommodating our guests—all while becoming a model for stormwater management and creating the first ever net-positive botanical garden complex in the world.

While the full application approval process requires additional hearings and votes from the Sarasota City Commission, I am thrilled to share that on December 7, 2020 the Sarasota City Commission voted to approve our zoning text amendment. This is a key step that will enable our Compromise Master Plan to become a reality, while codifying our entire 15-acre parcel as a botanical garden. Our mission is to provide bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. The Compromise Master Plan for our Downtown Sarasota campus will allow us to do just that—all while Innovating a Greener Future that is secure for the generations who follow.

As we continue to confront challenges and change, please know that you will always be able to find respite at both of our campuses in the comfort of nature surrounding you. We hope to see you soon.

With all best wishes for the New Year ahead,

Jenn Sig

Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO

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