Come Celebrate the Growth of San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s Library of Horticulture

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The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society invites families to the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture on Sunday, April 15 for a free event celebrating the Library’s recently extended services.

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The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is hosting a free event on Sunday, April 15 from 1 to 3 pm to celebrate its extended hours, new assistant librarian, and the circulation of its Children’s Collection.

With the grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, we’ll be able to better serve the community.

Spring is here, and the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture is certainly blossoming thanks to a $75,000 capacity-building grant from the S.S. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

In honor of its flourishing growth, the Library is throwing a free celebration on Sunday, April 15 from 1 to 3 pm. It has fun activities planned for children and families, including a special story time and guided tours of the garden, all complete with free dirt cake.

“With the grant from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, we’ll be able to better serve the community,” said Sue Ann Schiff, executive director of the Garden Society. “We want to celebrate the recent developments within the Library and show the community how we’re growing.”

The generous grant provided Northern California’s most comprehensive horticulture library with the resources to hire a new assistant librarian, extend its hours, build its Youth Education Program, and put its enormous Children’s Collection into circulation.

Although it will still remain closed on Tuesdays, the Library is able to return to a six-day schedule with the hire of Lia Thomas as its new assistant librarian. It is now open Wednesday through Monday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Lia brings nearly 15 years of public and academic library experience to the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. In addition to other responsibilities, Lia will assist teachers in selecting books to incorporate into classroom discussions, coordinate special story time readings for school groups, and develop the Library’s popular story time program.

The Garden Society is also using funds from the grant to support the ongoing development of its Youth Education Program, which provides summer internship opportunities for horticulture education students and gives them incomparable real-world career experience.

Also with the grant, the Library’s impressive 1,600-volume Children’s Collection will be circulated to teachers and Garden Society members for the first time ever.

Teachers in the local San Francisco school districts bring around 10,000 students to the Garden and Library annually to learn about subjects covered in the Children’s Collection like botany, horticulture, natural history, zoology, agriculture, forestry and physical science.

“Teachers have long wanted the volumes in our extensive Children’s Collection to be circulated,” explained Sue Ann Schiff. “With circulation starting this summer, we’ll be able to extend their visit into the classroom, making their field trip a richer, more valuable learning experience.”

For information about how to become a Society member, or any of San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s products and services, please call (415) 666-2211 or visit http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.

About San Francisco Botanical Garden Society
San Francisco Botanical Garden Society works in partnership with the City of San Francisco/Recreation and Park Department to support San Francisco Botanical Garden, whose 55 acres in Golden Gate Park includes more than 8,000 different kinds of plants native to California and from throughout the world. This tremendous plant diversity, with almost 30 percent of the species wild-collected and many rare and endangered, is displayed in 26 geographic and thematic gardens. The Botanical Garden Society’s mission is to build communities of support for the Botanical Garden and to cultivate the bond between people and plants. With the help of its members, donors and volunteers, the Botanical Garden Society funds Garden improvements, provides curatorial and plant collections management services, propagates plants for the Botanical Garden and for sale to the public, maintains the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, offers year-round educational and community programming, operates the Garden Bookstore and welcomes visitors from San Francisco, the Bay Area and around the world.

San Francisco Botanical Garden is situated in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. SFBG’s 26 distinct gardens and collections include African plants, Asian plants, and rarities from Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, plus SFBG’s award-winning California Native Plant Garden, complete with a century-old redwood forest. These collections of rare plants, exotic plants and endangered plants make a trip to SFBG one of the best things to do in San Francisco.

SFBG has daily docent-led San Francisco day tours, and can arrange private tours. SFBG’s daily and monthly plants sales are a unique opportunity to acquire garden plants and plant seeds seldom found in commercial plant nurseries or garden centers. SFBG’s educational programs include gardening classes, educational lectures, guided walks, children’s garden programs, treasure hunts, and other family activities.

The SFBG Bookstore features numerous gardening books and volumes on related subjects including natural science, environmental conservation, horticulture, plant life and gardening tips.

For information about how to become a Society member, or any of San Francisco Botanical Garden Society’s products and services, please call (415) 666-2211 or visit http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org.

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Heidi Wohlwend
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