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Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL, Opens Phase One of Master Plan on January 11

Opening Phase One of its three-phase Master Plan for its Downtown Sarasota, Florida campus on January 11, 2024, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is hosting a media preview on January 9, 2024, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. See full schedule of events below.

Phase One features 188,030 square feet of new facilities and amenities including the following three buildings that together create the first net-positive energy botanical garden complex in the world, generating more energy than it consumes.

The Morganroth Family Living Energy Access Facility (LEAF) houses a garden-to-plate restaurant, gift shop, vertical gardens, parking, and a nearly 50,000-square-foot solar panel array. A key component of the LEAF is the new restaurant, The Green Orchid, the world’s first net-positive energy restaurant utilizing solar power throughout the facility. Opening mid-January, 2024, the eatery is operated by Michaels on East and features a rooftop edible garden providing fresh produce for the season-inspired menu. The garden was planned, planted, and is maintained by Operation EcoVets, a non-profit organization that provides personal, educational, and professional growth opportunities for military veterans.

The Steinwachs Family Plant Research Center secures irreplaceable scientific resources in a hurricane-resilient structure and provides a window into once behind-the-scenes world-class research. The facility contains the Elaine Nicpon Marieb Herbarium and Laboratory (housing preserved collections of more than 125,000 dried and pressed plant specimens and molecular scientific work), as well as a research library (with priceless volumes dating to the 1700s), spirit collection (of more than 35,000 vials of flowers and other plant parts in preservative fluids—the second largest collection of its kind in the world), conference rooms, administrative offices, as well as a rooftop garden and solar array.

The open-air Jean Goldstein Welcome Center comprising a ticketing pavilion, welcome gallery, and welcome theater to properly accommodate and orient guests.

Media Preview/ Opening Ceremony – Tuesday, January 9, 2024 – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
10:00 am – Ribbon cutting outdoors at Jean Goldstein Welcome Center.

Public Opening – Thursday, January 11, 2024 – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tours available throughout the day. For admission prices and parking information please visit

About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward-thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. One of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, it celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is also accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information visit

Aerial view of PHASE ONE building complex. Photo courtesy of Willis Smith and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.