SARASOTA, FL – August 15, 2019: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens (Selby Gardens) launches the My Garden program providing underserved youth in Sarasota and Manatee County with annual memberships to Selby Gardens. The youth will each receive a yearlong household membership to Selby Gardens, allowing them to visit the Garden at any time, 364 days a year.
“Providing the opportunity for individuals in our community who might not otherwise come to Selby Gardens is exactly what Marie Selby would want,” says Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens. “We envision this program growing in years to come-both in programming and participants. One of the great aspects of our Master Plan is that by having more capacity, we will be able to connect more underserved populations with Selby Gardens and our mission.”
Households from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Child Protection Center, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, Robert L. Taylor Community Center, Unidos Now, and Visible Men Academy will participate in the inaugural year of the My Garden program. My Garden program is funded by a grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
“Gulf Coast Community Foundation is proud to provide funding for Selby Gardens’ My Garden initiative,” said Mark Pritchett President and CEO of Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “By connecting underserved youth and their families to nature, these children can develop an appreciation for the plants in our region and realize the powerful benefits of nature to not only their day-to-day lives but to our world.”
The program expands Selby Gardens’ outreach to underserved youth that began with the Family Togetherness program. Designed to introduce vulnerable youth along with their parents and guardians from Title I schools to Selby Gardens and to nature, the program provides complimentary entry to family-friendly special events throughout the school year. These events include Selby Spooktacular, Lights in Bloom Family Togetherness Night, and Family Saturday events for the Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Series held monthly for the duration of the exhibition. Family Togetherness is funded by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Tervis, Marcy and Michael Klein, and Flora Major for the Kutya Major Foundation
“We’re thrilled to be a partner with Selby Gardens and provide deserving families with an opportunity to learn, explore, and connect with nature through the My Garden program,” says Bill Sadlo President of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. .”
Valued at $150, the household membership benefits include free admission for up to six adults and the child. The membership will automatically renew for those children and families who come to the Garden four times during the course of their year-long membership.