Mission and History

Mission Statement


To cultivate the human connection with plants and the beauty of living landscapes.

Vision Statement


A community that understands, values, protects and is enriched by the world of plants.

Operational Mission Statement


We do this through plant displays and collections, education, conservation, and as a setting for cultural enrichment and events.

History


In 1930, Dr. Walter P. Cottam, co-founder of The Nature Conservancy and chairman of the Botany Department at the University of Utah, began using campus land for plant research. For more than 30 years, he evaluated plants to determine their adaptability to our region.

In 1961, the Utah State Legislature formally recognized Cottam's impressive collection by designating the University's campus landscape as the State Arboretum. The original legislation mandated that the Arboretum "provide resources and facilities for cultivating a greater knowledge and public appreciation for the trees and plants around us, as well as those growing in remote sections of the country and world."

With the growth of the Arboretum, the University of Utah hired Richard Hildreth as a full-time director to initiate meaningful interpretation of the collections and to develop educational programs emphasizing practical horticulture and plant identification.

As the University grew, so did the Arboretum's need for permanent public educational facilities and display gardens. In 1983, Ezekiel R. Dumke. Jr. and Richard Hildreth led the efforts to have the University dedicate 150 acres at the mouth of Red Butte Canyon for a regional botanical garden. The organization's name was changed from the State Arboretum to Red Butte Garden & Arboretum. The site provided an outstanding opportunity to showcase horticultural collections and to interpret the richly diverse natural area. This opportunity inspired the expansion of the Garden's mission to include not only horticulture but also conservation and environmental education.

The Garden formally opened to the public in 1985. In 1994, the Walter P. Cottam Visitor Center (funded by the George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation) opened. Over the years other additions have been the Courtyard Garden, Fragrance Garden, Medicinal Garden, Herb Garden, Hemingway Four Seasons Garden, Dumke Floral Walk, Children’s Garden, the Richard K. Hemingway Orangerie, an amphitheater, expanded gift shop, and the McCarthy Family Rose Garden. All were funded by community donations.

Today, Red Butte Garden is the largest botanical garden that tests, displays and interprets regional horticulture within a 400-mile radius. It has 18 acres of display gardens and several miles of hiking trails. The Garden, which is still community-funded, has grown into one of the nation’s pre-eminent botanic gardens with 200,000 annual visitors, over 9000 members, and over 300 active volunteers. The Garden is renowned for its award-winning gardens and beautiful floral displays, including its springtime display of 400,000 blooming bulbs, outstanding outdoor summer concert series, and award-winning educational programs. It has become a multi-purpose facility for people seeking horticultural knowledge, exercise, recreation, family-based activities, or a stunning setting for weddings and other special events.


HOURS
Jan 2-Mar 31: 9 am-5 pm
April 1-30: 9 am-7:30pm
May 1-Aug 31: 9 am-9 pm*
Sept 1-30: 9 am-7:30 pm*
Oct 1-Dec 23: 9 am-5 pm

Closed Thanksgiving Day
and Dec 24-Jan 1

*Days when outdoor concerts are scheduled, hours are 9 am-5 pm.

Only Service Animals are allowed in the Garden

GENERAL ADMISSION

Members: Free
Adults (ages 18-64): $10
Seniors (ages 65+): $8
Military w/ID: $8
Children (ages 3-17): $6
Children (under 3): Free
U of U Faculty/Staff: $8
U of U Students: Free with valid ID

Groups (12 or more) $1 off ea. person

Enjoy half-price admission December, January, and February

CONTACT
(801)585-0556

LOCATION
300 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
How to Get Here

XMission

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