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Task force proposes admission fee to help improve visitor experience at Botanic Garden

Posted Aug. 15, 2018

bridge in the garden
Redbud trees bloom in early spring at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

A task force has recommended a general admission fee for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden that would help improve the visitor experience, develop excellent public programs and implement key components of the master plan for the 85-year-old garden.

The proposed fee schedule will be reviewed by the Park & Recreation Advisory Board, which will make a recommendation to the City Council. Then residents will have several opportunities to comment on the fees during public meetings. Finally, the City Council must vote to approve the fees.

A strategic plan completed in 2016 recommended a single point of entry for the garden, which would improve visitor services, orientation and information. The plan also called for replacing the current admission structure — which requires visitors to pay for some features but not others — with a single general admission fee.

The task force, made up of Fort Worth residents and stakeholders, recommended charging $12 for adult admission, $6 for children 6-15 and $10 for senior citizens; children under 5 would be free. These admission fees would replace the fee currently being charged for the Japanese Garden and the Conservatory.

Annual memberships ($50 for an individual, $80 for a couple, $100 for a family) would also be offered. These memberships would provide reciprocal memberships to more than 200 gardens around the nation.

If approved, the fees would go into effect in the summer of 2019.

Similar admission fees at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge and major botanic gardens across the country have been shown to dramatically improve the physical spaces and the programs at these cultural assets.

The admission fee is intended to help defray more than $15 million in deferred maintenance at the garden and also position the city to work with fundraisers in the philanthropic community to improve programming and features at the garden. Officials expect the fee to help ensure the garden’s financial sustainability into the future without placing an additional burden on Fort Worth taxpayers.

Access options being studied

The task force recommended numerous options to make the gardens accessible to low-income residents:

  • Lone Star Card discounts (SNAP/WIC Card). Discounted annual family membership would cost $30, or $2.50 per month. Includes reciprocal admission to other gardens.
  • Museums4All. Family visits for $1 admission per adult member; children under 18 enter for free.
  • MusePass. Free family passes available in Fort Worth Public Library branches.
  • Sponsored field trips. Sponsored third grade field trips for local Title I schools. One free family pass would be included per student.
  • Blue Star Program. Free admission to families of active military members Memorial Day through Labor Day.
  • Community-based free family passes. Free family admission vouchers would be distributed to locations that specialize in meeting the needs of underserved populations. This program has been highly successful at the Fort Worth Zoo.

View a video and learn more about ongoing efforts to improve the garden.

Upcoming dates

Sept. 26, Park & Recreation Advisory Board reviews proposed fee structure.
Oct. 24, Park & Recreation Advisory Board votes on its recommendations to the City Council.
Oct. 30, City Council reviews the proposed fee structure.
Nov. 6, City Council votes on the fees.

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Canceled Disciplinary Appeal Hearing - Kenneth Pierce: 9 a.m. Sept. 18, 2018; Bob Bolen Safety Complex Multi-Purpose Room, 505 West Felix Street.

Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation: 3 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Work Session: 4 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Sept. 18, 2018; Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Work Session: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Disciplinary Appeal Hearing - Kenneth Pierce: 9 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Multi-Purpose Room, 505 West Felix Street.
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Commercial Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Work Session: 1 p.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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Residential Board of Adjustment Public Hearing: 2 p.m. Sept. 19, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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City of Fort Worth Workshops: RFP, RFQ, ITB, A+B & Best Value Solicitations: 8 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center , 1150 South Freeway .

Canceled Disciplinary Appeal Hearing - Kenneth Pierce: 9 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Bob Bolen Public Safety Complex Multi-Purpose Room, 505 West Felix Street.

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Tarrant County Adult Education & Literacy Consortium Meeting: 9:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Workforce Development Board Offices, 1320 South University Drive, Suite 600.
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Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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In's and Out's of Doing Business Globally: 11:15 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.
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City of Fort Worth “Monthly Informational Forum for M/WBEs”: 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus - Fort Worth Business Assistance Center, 1150 South Freeway.

Community Action Partners Council: 1:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Fort Worth City Credit Union, First Floor Board Room, 2309 Montgomery Street.
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Lake Worth Regional Coordination Committee Meeting: 2 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Lake Worth Multi-Purpose Center, 7005 Charbonneau Road, Lake Worth, TX 76135.

Aviation Advisory Board: 4:15 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Fort Worth Meacham International Airport, 201 American Concourse, Suite 306.
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Disciplinary Appeal of Kenneth Pierce: 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Law Conference Room 320, Third Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; Oak Hall, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Fort Worth Housing Solutions Board of Commissioners Meeting: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Trinity River Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Eastwood Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Ironwood Crossing Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Matador Ranch Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Penn Place Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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Sedona Public Facility Corporation: 5 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; FWHS Administrative Office Board Room, 1201 East 13th Street.
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September Master Compost 3-day: Sept. 20, 2018,–Sept. 22, 2018; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd.
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Calmont Elevated Storage Tank Repair & Repainting Project Meeting: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 2018; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Road.

Crud Cruiser Mobile Waste Collection: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; MET Church , 11301 Old Denton Rd.

North Beach Street Public Art Kick-off Event: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Fort Worth Police Department Sixth Patrol Division, 8755 N. Riverside Drive.

Responsible Pet Ownership Class (Spanish): 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin Street.

Litter Cleanup at Chisholm Trail: 9 a.m. Sept. 22, 2018; Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd.

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