Greenwich Botanical Center looks to grow with new name, mission
GREENWICH — As it looks to grow, a local nonprofit horticulture group is rebranding itself and adopting a new name.
The Garden Education Center of Greenwich announced this week that it is now the Greenwich Botanical Center.
Along with its new name, the Greenwich Botanical Center is planning an outreach campaign, more engagement with young people, a new website and a more extensive speaker series.
“It’s all to make us more visible in the community,” said Meg McAuley Kaicher, president of the board of the organization, which was founded 60 years ago.
The aim of the new name, Kaicher said, is to make the organization more prominent, especially in the age of computer searches. “It’s to make it more accessible in the community. It was a rather long name, and often the ‘of Greenwich’ got lost. It could be hard to find,” said Kaicher, especially on the Internet.
The new name — Greenwich Botanical Center — has a more direct and accessible ring, the board president said. “We still have the same mission, but we’re making it easier for long-standing constituents, and new visitors, to find us,” Kaicher said.
The gardening group promotes education about horticulture and the natural world, and it also arranges what it calls “unique experiences.” They arranged a tour of the gardens of taste-maven and broadcaster Martha Stewart in Katonah, N.Y., in June.
More educational program for young people are in the works, said Kaicher, while the group maintains its traditional connections with seniors in the community.
“We’re reaching young families, seniors, and everyone in between,” she said. “We truly expect to be reaching a much broader audience, as we engage new members.”
Kaicher, who has a background in finance, loves to raise irises, peonies and hydrangeas in her spare time. New board members and nature-lovers who have joined the organization are adding various talents to the gardening group. “It’s a re-energized board that’s going to take us into the future,” she said.
The greenhouse and administrative officers of the Botanical Center are headquartered at the Montgomery Pinetum, a town park on Bible Street in Cos Cob. The land was donated by Robert Montgomery, a businessman and serious horticulturist who created an impressive collection of indigenous and exotic conifers on his estate in Greenwich. He died in 1952.
Along with the new name, the organization is promoting a new definition of its mission: “We are a member-based organization with a rich local history rooted to our past as we forge into the future connecting our community to nature.”
The gardening group will also build a more advanced website later this summer, as part of its community engagement project. Kaicher said some prominent figures in the world of gardening and the natural sciences would also part of a speaker series this year.