Morganroths give $5 million to Selby Gardens

Downtown Sarasota attraction has received $31.5 million for first phase of its master plan

A rendering shows the Jean Goldstein Welcome Center in the Selby Gardens master plan. Image courtesy Selby Gardens

As of Jan. 28, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens had received $31.5 million in gifts, or 74% of the funds it needs to implement the $42.5-million first phase of the master plan it revealed last year.

Among more recent gifts, a news release said, Drs. Joel and Gail Morrison Morganroth of Sarasota gave the Gardens $5 million. Thanks to that gift and other contributions, the release points out, the Gardens has received nearly $10 million since the Oct. 10, 2018 launch of its campaign for its master plan.

The fundraising goal for the overall 10-year master plan is $92 million, with $72 million to be directed toward capital costs, with the balance slated for the endowment and operational needs.

The centerpiece of Phase One of the master site plan is the Sky Garden, which will bear the Morganroths’ name, the release says. The Sky Garden will be a vertical garden and visitor services building “that will incorporate cutting-edge sustainability innovations and serve as an international model for green technology,” the release explains. Further, “the Sky Garden will house a substantial [stormwater] management system and generate significant energy to power Phase One of the master plan, making Selby Gardens the first net positive energy botanical garden complex in the world, the release adds.

A graphic shows details of the plans for Phase One of Selby Gardens’ master plan. Image courtesy City of Sarasota

“Innovation is the cornerstone to a sustainable and promising future,” said Joel Morganroth in the release. “Selby Gardens understands the value of innovation as is evident in their transformational Master Plan. With a greener sustainable future in mind, they are taking bold steps to preserve their precious collections while blazing forward with designs that will allow for more green space, energy efficiencies and extensive educational outreach at their 15-acre botanical garden.”

“We are incredibly honored to receive this generous gift from Joel and Gail,” added Jennifer Rominiecki, Selby Gardens’ president and CEO, in the release. “Their belief in our project and passion for the innovation of the Master Plan reaffirms our belief that this is a vital chance to transform and realize the full potential of our beloved gardens, while also preserving our important history for generations to come.”

Selby Gardens is the only botanical garden in the world “dedicated to the study, display and conservation of epiphytic plants,” the release explains.

Upon completion of the master plan the Gardens would have 50% more green space, the release notes.

To learn more about the Campaign for Selby Gardens and the master plan, click here.