On July 19, the Fort Worth Botanic Garden will start charging an entrance fee; $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, and $6 for children. The fee is expected to cut visitor traffic by about 20-percent, so the Fort Worth City Council approved options to make the Botanic Garden more financially accessible.
The Council approved a plan to make the second and fourth Mondays free for the first and last hour the garden is open, making one half price Saturday morning a month, and free admission for children under 18 between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on school nights.
"This is an attempt to find the right balance between the money that we need and making sure that everybody that would like the opportunity to come and enjoy the garden can do so," said Botanic Garden Director Bob Byers.
Byers said the Botanic Garden has been underfunded by $1.2 million every year, leading to $18-million in deferred maintenance. The fees are meant to make repairs, and more.
"The real thing is to start doing a lot more programming, particularly more education classes for kids," said Byers. "To get out into the community more and to be of more service to folks where they are."
The Council approved the plan during it's Tuesday night meeting.