Community helps keep Idaho Botanical Garden gates open

Posted at 8:09 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 08:15:48-04

BOISE, Idaho — COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of countless events this year, crippling cash flow for tons of businesses. Without the summer concert series at Outlaw Field, the Idaho Botanical Garden is among those feeling the financial hit.

They expect $600,000 in revenue loss this year because of the pandemic. Along with canceled events, they had to slash staffing from 45 employees during peak season down to 19.

On August 1, the Botanical Garden called on the community to help them cover the costs of continued maintenance and seasonal events. They hoped to raise $150,000 but just one month later saw $185,000 in donations.

"We've had supporters donate anywhere from $15 stating that's all that they could give at this time, all the way up to $25,000," executive director Erin Anderson said. "It's been really inspiring to watch the community come together."

The money will help the garden reconfigure educational programs for the community this fall and help fund seasonal festivals like October's Harvest Festival and the seasonal Winter Garden A Glow which starts on Thanksgiving.

"It takes a lot of set up," Anderson explained. "We actually start setting up the lights in September, so there’s a lot of cost that goes into the event in advance."

Events will look a little different this year because of the coronavirus. The garden will cap capacity to limit the number of people on the grounds at a given time to ensure social distancing is possible.

To read more about their upcoming events click here.