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Entertainment Council Report: Botanic Garden and BRIT providing joint membership services

Council Report: Botanic Garden and BRIT providing joint membership services

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The Fort Worth City Council, at its Tuesday, March 6 work session, received an informal report concerning an expanded partnership with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) to provide joint membership services with the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

In November, the council adopted recommendations of the Botanic Garden Task Force, including admission fees, membership fees, and non-profit management. Staff will be returning with a final admission fee schedule that will incorporate free admission during certain periods prior to the official implementation of the fees later this summer.

Over the past year, BRIT and the Garden have combined their education and volunteer efforts to launch new and innovative programming.

The partnership — called GROW — has resulted in new opportunities for students, families and adults, including such events as:

*Family Exploration Saturdays.

*Spring Break Family Camps.

*Come & Grow Field Study Trips for schools.

*Botanical art for children, and a variety of botanically-related classes and workshops for adults.

GROW currently includes joint programming for the two facilities and a combined volunteer program.

As part of an expanded partnership, the Garden and BRIT will begin offering joint memberships to encourage community support. The membership will also allow affordable, regular Japanese Garden visits and ultimately, Botanic Garden admission once fees are implemented later this year.

The memberships will also allow reciprocal free admission to more than 300 public gardens across the United States, along with event discounts and more. This includes the neighboring Dallas Arboretum.

“The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a wonderful space where children and adults can experience nature,” Botanic Garden Director Bob Byers said. “Through this expanded partnership, we’re leveraging the strengths of both institutions to better serve the residents of Fort Worth.”

BRIT already has a membership team in place and will administer the program. Net revenues will be split between the Garden and BRIT.

“The GROW educational and volunteer initiative between BRIT and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden has been a wonderful success, showing what’s possible through our combined efforts,” BRIT Executive Director Dr. Ed Schneider said. “We look forward to this next step offering joint membership, providing more opportunities for Fort Worth residents to support and enjoy all that both organizations offer.”

In November the city council approved the following annual Botanic Garden membership levels, as recommended by a task force:

*Individual (one person), $50.

*Partner (two adults and children), $80.

*Supporter (two adults and children, plus two guest passes), $100.

*Patron (two adults and children, plus four guest passes), $200.

*Affiliate (two adults and children, plus six guest passes), $500.

*Sustainer (two adults and children, plus eight guest passes), $1,000.

Membership sales begin March 9 in coordination with the launch of Lanterns in the Garden, a larger-than-life silk, Asian lantern exhibit.

“This is a situation where one and one is three,” District 7 Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Shingleton said. “You’ve got two well-organized, well-managed entities and we’re putting them together. This is a good deal, and it’s great for the city.”

More membership information can be found through visiting fwGROW.org, emailing membership@fwgrow.org or calling 817-332-4441.

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