San Francisco Botanical Garden prepares for limited June 1 reopening

The Great Lawn inside the San Francisco Botanical Garden. | Photo: Stan Shebs/Wikipedia
By Camden Avery - Published on May 26, 2020.

Next Monday, June 1 the San Francisco Botanical Garden will begin the first phase of a gradual, limited reopening, opening daily for visitors but with strict density limitations and safety protocols, a statement announced today.

This phase, permitted by a recent city policy that also affects "outdoor museums" and "public gardens," allows the Botanical Garden to open its doors for the first time since it shuttered in mid-March as part of the city's sweeping shelter-in-place order.

"Public gardens such as San Francisco Botanical Garden are indispensable to community healing," the garden's statement said, "offering much-needed places for respite and connection with nature."

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Welcome Back! We reopen June 1! 🌳 Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to our spring fundraising campaign; we are more than half-way to our goal of $50,000, and all donations up to that amount will be matched through June 30. To support our reopening efforts, please consider making a donation at sfbg.org/donate 💚 We are excited to welcome you back to the Garden starting Monday, June 1! As we reopen to the public, we ask for your cooperation with new health and safety rules, as well as your patience and understanding while we continue to implement new procedures during these unprecedented times. 🌸 Here are some things to “know before go”: 🎫 Advanced tickets are strongly encouraged for all visitors including Garden members and San Francisco residents to minimize transaction times at the entrance. Advanced tickets can be reserved at sfbg.org/visit. 🌱 A maximum number of visitors in the Garden at any one time will be monitored. 😷 Face coverings and social distancing are required. 👋 Following the “rules of the road” on pathways is recommended – walk on the right side and pass on the left single-file. ❓ Please see the FAQs at sfbg.org/covid-19 for additional details on reopening procedures, social distancing protocol, and more. 🌿 Public gardens such as San Francisco Botanical Garden are indispensable to community health, offering much-needed places for respite and connection with nature. The Garden will prioritize the health and safety of all visitors, staff, and volunteers throughout the reopening process and continue to follow guidance from public health officials in partnership with SF Recreation & Parks. 🌲 As the Garden and our community begins what will be a long and slow recovery from the financial hardship caused by COVID-19, we are especially grateful for the generosity of our members and donors. To support the Garden during these tough times, please contribute here. 🌵 We can’t wait to see you back in the Garden in June and throughout the summer! 📷 @jonathannickle, @instageorgious, @am.yng, @roseehale, @ralphuhnator, @gigisid, @nicole.nino, @em_0615, @deanintheyay share the spring Garden in years past.

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This initial phase of opening will allow the garden to welcome up to a quarter of its normal capacity at a time, and will require patrons to use masks and practice distancing.

The only entrance available will be the main gate, near the Hall of Flowers. "The Helen Crocker Russel Library of Horticulture, Garden Bookstore, Plant Arbor, and Children’s Garden will remain closed," according to the statement issued today.

In addition, according to city rules for public gardens, shared contact surfaces like picnic tables will be off limits, and retail operations will be limited to a "curbside only" basis.

The gradual reopening won't be enough to offset the financial impact of 10 weeks of closure, which amounts to an estimated $1M loss.

To help fund reopening efforts, the garden, which is largely supported by donors and its periodic plant sales, is asking for donations to help foot the bill for operations.

The newly-eased restrictions from the city also apply to the Japanese Tea Garden, which for now remains closed until further notice.

San Francisco Botanical Garden will resume its regular spring hours, open daily from 7:30 a.m. - 7 p.m., with last entry at 6 p.m. 

Advance tickets are available, and encouraged to help reduce person-to-person contact time. Entry to the botanical gardens remains free of charge for San Francisco residents, and for non-residents from 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.

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