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Georgia Journal of Science

Abstract

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a small urban garden located just three miles from the city center in Midtown Atlanta. Since it was chartered in 1976 with a 50-year lease, it has occupied 30 acres adjacent to Piedmont Park, the most heavily used public park in the City. The Garden encompasses 15 acres of well-respected culti­vated gardens, 15 acres of old growth woods, and two acres for the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Children's Garden (1999), along with the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory (1989), the new Fuqua Orchid Center (2002), gardenhouse (1985), the administrative center, and exhibit hall (2002) that houses the Children's Learning Center. The Garden was organized by a grassroots group of citizens in the mid-1970s without benefit of a bequest or estate grounds, and is privately funded under the leadership of Mary Pat Matheson, executive director. Responsiveness to the surrounding community has always been its touchstone. Because of its proximity to downtown, the Garden is well situated and hosts a wide variety of public and private events. But the true nature of its audience arises from its mission statement, which is carried into every aspect of the Garden's operations.

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