SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has once again achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums, considered the highest national recognition afforded to the nation’s museums.
The garden was initially accredited in 1996, and all museums must undergo a reaccreditation review at least every 10 years to maintain accredited status. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and to the general public.
The local garden is one of only 3% of botanic gardens in the nation accredited as a living museum. Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement.
“This reaccreditation certifies the Garden as a leader within our field, maintaining the highest standards of collections management, research, and educational programs,” Dr. Steve Windhager, the garden’s executive director, said in a statement. “Our reaccreditation is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our staff and board.”
To earn accreditation, a museum first must conduct a year of self-study and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.
Founded in 1926, the garden is the first botanic garden focused exclusively on California native plants and currently spans 78 acres with five miles of walking trails, an herbarium, seed bank, research labs, library, and nursery. The garden welcomes the public every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and offers a members-only hour from 9 to 10 a.m. For more information about the garden, please visit sbbg.org.
— Mitchell White