Oldest major botanic garden in Texas launches master planning effort

brown wooden house on lake
house sitting on the water in the fort worth botanic gardensPhoto by Jessica Tan on Unsplash

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas announced Oct. 26 the launch of a multi-stakeholder Master Planning Committee and the selection of Dallas-based landscape architecture firm Studio Outside to design a comprehensive master plan to inform the direction and priorities for the next 20 years of infrastructure and facility improvements across the 120-acre campus.

“Creating a long-term, inspiring guest experience is the main purpose of this long-term master plan,” Bob Byers, FWBG|BRIT executive vice president and co-chair of the Master Planning Committee, said in a news release. “This plan will connect horticulture, botanical science and the Fort Worth community, leading us toward our strategic vision of being renowned globally and treasured locally.”

The master planning committee led by Former District 7 City Councilman Dennis Shingleton comprises members from throughout the community, representative of Fort Worth civil servants, local garden associations, Fort Worth ISD, FWBG|BRIT Board and staff, and other community advocates and developers.

“We made a conscious effort to ensure that members from the City, FWBG|BRIT staff, former task force, and other longtime Garden supporters were represented on this committee,” Shingleton said. “We will also be reaching out to Fort Worth residents requesting their input throughout this process, so it will truly reflect the opinions of our broad, diverse community.”

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After a national search, Studio Outside landscape architects were chosen to deliver the final Master Plan in a 12-month timeline. Studio Outside and its team of architects, civil engineers and landscape architects offer a collective competency in master planning and botanic garden design as demonstrated both in previous projects at the Garden and in similar projects across the nation, such as Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, and the Water Conservation Garden at Red Butte in Salt Lake City.

“The master plan which will evolve over the next 12 months, promises to fortify the Garden campus as a premier horticultural institution in the nation,” said Tary Arterburn, FASLA, Studio Outside Principal in Charge. “This site is very unique, not far from the banks of the Trinity River, offering a perfect transect of ecosystems that are riparian, escarpment, and prairie all in one place.”

A website has been created for the Master Planning effort: www.brit.org/masterplan