Efforts to grow the diversity of guests at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Botanical Research Institute of Texas continue to take place — now, with community meetings in south, far north and east Fort Worth.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden and BRIT President and CEO Patrick Newman, who came on in May 2021, made it a goal to build a network and engage with the community when he arrived.  

He did this by adding events such as its ¡Celebramos! A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage in Fort Worth and Japanese Festivals.

“How can we get more people to come from different areas and where do we need to conduct outreach to really make sure that more of the community is viewing this as the local treasure that it is?” Newman said. “Our hope is that if all of us individually make small changes, collectively we can make some really significant changes in our community.”

The privatization of the Garden allows the entity to track who is visiting, what communities are not visiting the garden and finds ways to get those communities engaged, the Report reported in September 2021.

Garden leadership, alongside Studio Outside, Bennett Partners and Fort Worth Diversity and Inclusion Committee members, has hosted a number of public comment meetings at the Rockwood Park Golf Course Clubhouse Como Community Center, MLK, Jr., Community Center, Chisholm Trail Community Center, Heritage Church and Worth Heights Community Center.

“I think probably some of the most rewarding things have been watching the community really come together at the garden,” Newman said.

The Garden’s master plan is in progress but is set to be completed with community feedback by the end of the year.

Topics of discussion at the community comment meetings include transportation, access and layout. Administration said community members talk about how bad the entrance to the garden is on University Drive.

A strategic plan started at the start of the new year and will gauge community feedback and aid in finalizing the master plan for the next decade.

Garden administration will host a light show similar to the Chicago Botanical Garden Lightscape from late November through the first week of the new year, Newman said.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Garden Strategic Plan 2022:

  • Expand our botanical research and biodiversity conservation programs
  • Engage a large and diverse audience 
  • Create exceptional gardens and facilities to inspire and serve our guests
  • Change lives through our education programs
  • Build our human, financial, and infrastructure resources
  • Develop a science communication program 
  • Conserve regional biodiversity by focusing on our Texas Flora Project
  • Complete a new site master plan and begin a capital fund drive 
  • Strategically add to and diversify our living plant collections 
  • Complete the rebranding of FWBG | BRIT 
  • Host the 2023 American Public Garden Association (APGA) Conference 
  • Plant 500,000 bulbs and prepare the grounds for the 2023 APGA Conference 
  • Become one of the top five garden-based research institutions in the U.S. 
  • Engage all 4th grade Fort Worth students in our STEM Program

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Cristian ArguetaSoto

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. He can be reached at cristian.arguetasoto@fortworthreport.org or (817) 317-6991.

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