Letter from the Board Chair and CEO

We are extremely proud to present the San Diego Botanic Garden 2022 Annual Report which so clearly demonstrates how our Garden is improving people’s lives while protecting the natural world! This past year, the Garden has continued its amazing growth trajectory. We have welcomed over 260,000 visitors to the Garden, educated over 20,000 students and adults, and grown our plant collections to include over 11,000 plants representing over 5,000 species. Our Science and Conservation programs are safeguarding plants throughout the region while advancing human well-being through the study and use of food and medicinal plants. Our Exhibitions and Events programs present world class horticultural displays such as World of Orchids and incredible family experiences like our smash hit Lightscape holiday show. Our Education programs enrich the lives of children and adults by inspiring curiosity and exploration of the natural world. And, as always, the Garden remains an amazing place to visit and learn about plants all year long.

We are deeply grateful to the large army of people who make the Garden grow: members, donors, volunteers, staff, and our many community partners. You are our greatest assets as we garden to improve our world.


Download Annual Report PDF


Annual exhibitions, seasonal celebrations and a brand-new holiday light experience lit up the Garden in 2022, attracting thousands of visitors from around the country. In total, signature events and exhibitions drew 186,364 attendees throughout the year. Highlights include: 

  • Seeing the Invisible (Jan. 1 – Aug. 31)  – 23,614 attendees
  • World of Orchids (May 7 – June 12) – 24,600 attendees 
  • World of Houseplants (July 16 – Sept. 5) – 25,085 attendees 
  • Lightscape Nov. 18 – Jan. 8) – 111,007 attendees 


Our Science & Conservation team continued to grow significantly in 2022, expanding our team of experts and embarking on major projects with regional and global impacts – from biodiversity loss to climate change, food insecurity to environmental degradation. Our medicinal plants program advanced with the addition of a 2,100 square foot greenhouse dedicated to the medicinal plant collection, and the formation of a research consortium with 15 institutional partners throughout San Diego. Additional highlights include:

  • 19 projects within and beyond the Garden
  • 120 days in the field
  • 133 rare plant accessions
  • 85 rare plant occurrences surveyed in the wild 


With a focus on offering inclusive educational opportunities for children and adults of all ages, the SDBG Education team expanded significantly in not only the number of classes and programs offered, but also in the number of participants throughout the year. Important partnerships with local nonprofits and schools, like our Access Afternoons and Budburst programs, allowed us to welcome hundreds of visitors from underserved communities, achieving a vital goal of ensuring that our Garden is accessible to all.  Highlights include:

  •  15,076 SAPLinGS participants (+264%)
  •  2,331 students engaged in onsite and offsite programs
  • 947 total participants in Access Afternoons and Budburst programs
  • 1,404 total participants in adult classes and programs
  • 502 combined participants in bird walks and butterfly walks