Looking Ahead: How to Make a Good Botanical Garden Better


Since visiting the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens on trails assessment researching for Bonnie Lewkowicz's new book on trails of northern California 

Botanical-DSC04039.jpgI have had the pleasure of getting to know their staff. My brief review of the site's trails and facilities accessibility is complete. It will inform some changes that will be made even before the gardens' planned major ADA upgrades.

Physical accessibility is only one piece of inclusion. The possibilities for systematic development of program and sensory accessibility at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens are inspiring since the collection is so extensive and the terrain so diverse. The capacity and desire on the part of the staff to pursue inclusion is encouraging.

Beneath the Surface.jpg
Other gardens have established some good practices and I have been wondering what might be some next-generation developments.

The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has partnered with the Arts Council of Mendocino County to create a Sculpture Gallery in the Gardens. Their 20101 - 2011 display makes for a complimentary visual, tactile, and in some cases, auditory experience. One piece that included the auditory element was entitled "Beneath the Surface" shown here. Using the publication below covering the basics of a sensory garden other venues can expand on accessibility. They are likely to be able to draw some new ideas from the  Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in the near future as well.

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