Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Credit: J.Burkett Photo

Fort Worth Botanic Garden Considering Admission Fee

August 14, 2018 - 9:28 am

FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - The Fort Worth Botanic Garden has always had free admission. But that might not be tenable for much longer.

"There is significant deferred maintenance at the facilities, with a cost of over $15 million," says Fort Worth Assistant City Manager Susan Alanis.

To pay for those repairs, the Botanic Garden Strategic Planning Task Force is recommending imposing admission fees

"They concluded that it would be appropriate to replace the current fee for the Japanese Garden with a general admission fee of $12," says Alanis.

The $12 admission fee would be for adults. It would be $10 for seniors 65 and older and $6 for kids 6-15 years old. There would be no admission charge for kids five and under.

Alanis says the recommendation was made with great reluctance.

"I think that all of us would prefer for it to be free," she says. "Unfortunately, with the amount of deferred maintenance, we've got to be creative about the solution."

Alanis says another part of the strategic plan is to turn the Botanic Garden over to a non-profit organization, in an arrangement similar to that of the Fort Worth Zoo.

There are still many additional steps before any final decision is made.

"A report will be made to the park board in September, and then that park board will take action in terms of a recommendation to the city council in October," says Alanis. "The city council will be briefed on October the 30th, per the current schedule, and potentially take action as early as the beginning of November."

Even if the city council gives its thumbs-up to the admission fees this fall, it will take months before they will go into effect.

"We believe it'll probably be early next summer before the fees would be implemented, because there will be some physical changes to control access and that kind of thing," Alanis says.