More than 40 years ago, Marie Selby left her property in our care to preserve an oasis of green space in downtown Sarasota. Her executors created the world’s only botanical research garden specializing in epiphytes – air plants such as orchids and bromeliads.
Since then, Selby Gardens has become a leading botanical garden in the United States that’s also internationally recognized. Now, our 15-acre bayfront property is in need of the infrastructure that a modern public botanical garden requires, especially considering future sea level rise.
As Selby Gardens moves into the future, we envision a site plan that moves our scientific and living collections to hurricane-resilient infrastructure using the latest green building technology.
In 2017, Selby Gardens started the creation of a new Master Site Plan. Meetings with neighbors since then have resulted in $1.5 million worth of improvements; it’s a stronger plan as a result of their input.
The Master Plan Preserves our History
- GROWS walkable garden space by 50 percent.
- DESIGNATES our privately owned 15 acres as a botanical garden and downtown oasis in perpetuity.
- PRESERVES our historically designated buildings and the Augusta block promenade of South Palm Avenue.
The Master Plan Sustains our Future
- SAFEGUARDS the world’s best scientifically documented collection of orchids and bromeliads.
- CONNECTS underserved families and children and in our region to nature.
- ENSURES private revenue streams, like the revenue from a new Sky Garden restaurant on the U.S. 41 commercial corridor, that will ensure quality operations for the future.
- SERVES as an international model for sustainability and the latest green building technology.
- OFFERS diverse opportunities for more individuals to engage with the Gardens and our mission.
- MAINTAINS current level of traffic along Orange Avenue (upon completion, it’s estimated that the Gardens will account for ONLY 4 percent of the traffic on Orange Avenue).
FAQ’s, KEY FACTS AND INFORMATION
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Master Site Plan Overview 3.1.2019
- Facts and Corrections
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?
“The Gardens are one of the few areas where nature is still served in downtown Sarasota. The zoning being requested for the Master Plan will designate the land as a botanical garden in perpetuity, strengthening Marie Selby’s intent for a garden in downtown Sarasota.”
– Dr. Calaway H. Dodson is a botanist of world renown. He is now a senior research associate at
Selby Gardens and serves on its Advisory Committee.
“If Selby had not been created, that whole area would probably now be condos.”
– Marlane Wurzbach, Sarasota
“We love this city and all it has to offer. To have Selby Gardens as an integral part of downtown Sarasota is a privilege you won’t find in many cities. Please vote to support the Selby Master Plan as currently presented.”
– Betsy and Bill Roe, Sarasota
If you would like more information or to discuss this further, you can do so by contacting MasterPlan@selby.org.
Help Selby Gardens’ Master Plan come to life!
To make the Selby Gardens Master Plan a reality we need your help.
- Call or write City Commissioners and voting members of the City’s Planning Board.
- Submit a letter to the editor explaining why you support Selby Gardens’ master plan.
Thank you for ensuring the future Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota!