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BOTANIC GARDEN MISSION STATEMENT
Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Estimate
COUThe United States Botanic Garden is an institution of public education dedicated to demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, economic,
A botanic garden at the seat of government was the dream of several founders of the nation, including George Washington, Thomas
The Architect of the Capitol has served as Acting Director of the United States Botanic Garden since July 3, 1934. The Architect is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the garden and for any construction, changes, or improvements made to the garden. The Architect performs his duties in connection with the garden under the direction of the Joint Committee on the Library, which is charged by law with control over the garden.
The United States Botanic Garden is comprised of four related operations. First, the organization maintains a large public
Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Estimate conservatory. One of the largest structures of its kind, the Conservatory, which opened in 1933, is now closed for renovation. When it reopens in the fall of 2000, it will display tropical and subtropical plants from around the world organized into beautiful elaborately themed exhibits which are designed around focal areas of interest to the public, e.g., a rainforest, a desert, and an ancient primeval forest. Two galleries will become large display halls used to orient the public to the Botanic Garden and to interpret the contributions of plants to the natural world and to human civilization.
Second, the Botanic Garden displays temperate plants on its outdoor grounds. Frederic Auguste Bartholdi Park, across Independence Avenue from the Conservatory, is a garden demonstration landscape. Just over an acre in size, the park contains many theme gardens, each of a size and scale suitable for the urban or suburban home site. The gardens illustrate design principles and display outstanding and unusual woody and perennial plants. Changing seasonal display beds feature eye-catching combinations of annuals and perennials. The focal point of the park is the historic Bartholdi Fountain, named for its creator, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the Statue of Liberty. A second outdoor display area will be the National Garden, scheduled to open in late 2001. A privately funded project, the National Garden will showcase outstanding native plants from the mid-Atlantic region and the United States, as well as a rose garden to feature the National Flower, a First Ladies Water Garden, a butterfly garden, the Senator John Heinz Environmental Learning Center, and a small amphitheater.
Third, the Botanic Garden presents a full slate and variety of public programs for adults and children about plants and their significance. Offerings include classes, special exhibits, seasonal floral displays, lecture series, informational brochures and other publications, school programs, public tours, and off-site presentations. Public programs are expected to expand with the opening of the privately funded Senator John Heinz Environmental Learning Center, the first and only facility at the Botanic Garden designed specifically for educational programming.
The fourth major responsibility of the Botanic Garden is the production of plants at, and maintenance of, the D.C. Village Production Facility. The facility includes approximately 85,000 square feet (about 2 acres) under glass and a 26,000 square-foot support facility. All of the plants used in the Conservatory and Bartholdi Park for seasonal exhibits, special displays, and plants for replacement or additions to the permanent display collections, are grown at the facility. Areas of the greenhouses are also dedicated to growing plants for Congressional offices and functions. Special projects now ongoing at the Production Facility include growing and propagating rare and unusual plants that will be used in the Conservatory and National Garden exhibits.