512-572-0345   •   2220 Barton Springs Road Austin, TX 78746

by zbgc on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 No Comments


In 2013, PARD and AAGC conducted a visioning exercise which highlighted the Garden’s needs and untapped potential, including needs for the future:

  • Expansion of meeting and educational facilities
  • Expanded plant collections and gardens
  • Conservatories and display greenhouses
  • Improved outdoor lighting
  • Additional parking
  • Improved ADA access

Recognizing that managing a botanical garden does not fall under its mission, AAGC then conducted a public survey and hired Seeds for Change Consulting to complete a study of funding and management options for ZBG. The results of the survey and study made clear that ZBG has the potential to become a world-class botanical garden with the establishment of a dedicated entity leading that mission and to undertake the operation and management of ZBG.

Given this was an established and successful model in various other cities, in 2015, volunteers officially formed the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy to work with the City and grow ZBG for the future. Both a Board of Directors and an Advisory Board were established with seats filled by AAGC members, community members and City staff. These groups worked to establish Articles of Incorporation, 501(c)(3) status, Bylaws and a business development plan.

In 2015, ZBGC was awarded funding by the Austin City Council to partially fund an Executive Director and organization operating costs. In order to meet the deliverables of the contract with the City, in 2016, the Conservancy launched an effort to hire its first paid employee: Executive Director. July 1, 2016 Cat Newlands, the first paid staff member of the Conservancy, was hired as Executive Director.


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