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Oldest Major Botanic Garden in Texas Launches Master Planning Effort

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas announced today the launch of a multi-stakeholder Master Planning Committee and the selection of Dallas-based landscape architecture firm Studio Outside to design a comprehensive master plan to inform the direction and priorities for the next 20 years of infrastructure and facility improvements across the 120-acre campus.

“Creating a long-term, inspiring guest experience is the main purpose of this long-term master plan, “said Bob Byers, FWBG|BRIT executive vice president and co-chair of the Master Planning Committee. “This plan will connect horticulture, botanical science and the Fort Worth community, leading us toward our strategic vision of being renowned globally and treasured locally.”

The master planning committee led by Former District 7 City Councilman Dennis Shingleton comprises members from throughout the community, representative of Fort Worth civil servants, local garden associations, Fort Worth ISD, FWBG|BRIT Board and staff, and other community advocates and developers.

“We made a conscious effort to ensure that members from the City, FWBG|BRIT staff, former task force, and other longtime Garden supporters were represented on this committee,” Shingleton said. “We will also be reaching out to Fort Worth residents requesting their input throughout this process, so it will truly reflect the opinions of our broad, diverse community.”

After a national search, Studio Outside landscape architects were chosen to deliver the final Master Plan in a 12-month timeline. Studio Outside and its team of architects, civil engineers and landscape architects offer a collective competency in master planning and botanic garden design as demonstrated both in previous projects at the Garden and in similar projects across the nation, such as Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Clermont, KY, and the Water Conservation Garden at Red Butte in Salt Lake City, UT.

“The master plan which will evolve over the next 12 months, promises to fortify the Garden campus as a premier horticultural institution in the nation,” said Tary Arterburn, FASLA, Studio Outside Principal in Charge. “This site is very unique, not far from the banks of the Trinity River, offering a perfect transect of ecosystems that are riparian, escarpment, and prairie all in one place.”

A website has been created for the Master Planning effort: www.brit.org/masterplan

Additional Statements:

“Our team is excited to work with the FWBG|BRIT staff and the public in crafting a vision for this treasured institution. Public Gardens have the unique opportunity to bring people together to celebrate, play, enjoy, and learn – about each other and the natural world that connects us all. We look forward to building on the Garden’s legacy and hearing about community memories as we consider what new experiences to offer all residents of the City of Fort Worth.”

Andrew Duggan, ASLA | Studio Outside | (Role: Principal)

“We’re excited to be part of the master planning team to help FWBG|BRIT plan the future of the gardens to connect our entire community to the beauty and wonder of nature. We think the gardens have fantastic potential as well as a deep and rich history for us to build upon.”

Michael Bennett, AIA | Bennett Partners | (Role: Architect)

“Gardens have an incredible ability to connect people to nature and to each other. Achieving this through a new master plan will require understanding how the diverse communities of Fort Worth desire to use this space in the future and as well as their historic connections to it. We need to hear from as many people as possible so we can imagine together, a garden that inspires visitors to explore, discover, and engage with the world around them.”

Isaac Cohen, ASLA | Studio Outside | (Role: Project Manager – Public Engagement)

“If we dare to design our strategies and engagements with diversity, equity and inclusion as our intentions, our natural environment expressed in our gardens becomes an inspiring model for sustainable human communities.”

Estrus Tucker, President and CEO | DEI Consultants, LLC | (Role: Public Engagement)

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