Admission FAQs

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden thanks you for your questions and wants to ease your concerns with open dialog and transparency. If you have any additional questions, please email us. For more information on the Strategic Plan, please click here

A park is a recreational area with picnic grounds and playing fields. A botanic garden is a living horticultural museum of plants used for education, conservation and display.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden began charging admission fees to non-members on July 19, 2019. 

A community-based, independent task force determined that a multifaceted approach (including bonds, philanthropy and increased generated revenue) was needed to sustain the Garden. With an estimated annual operating shortfall of $1.2 million and estimated deferred maintenance needs of $17 million, an admission fee was the only option that generated enough revenue to meet the long-term needs of the Garden.

General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+) and $6 for children (ages 6-15). Children five and younger will be admitted for free.

This includes the previous admission for the Japanese Garden and Rainforest Conservatory ($9) plus $3 for the Garden’s additional 100 acres.

The task force, garden staff, City Manager’s office and City Council took great steps to make sure the residents of Fort Worth would still be able to visit the Garden. The Garden’s accessibility options are as follows:

  • Lone Star Card Discounts: Individuals with SNAP/WIC receive discounted family membership ($30) and, through the Museums4All program, complimentary admission (adults and children under 15 free, same household, general admission only. Not applicable for special events).
  • MusePass: Free family passes available to check out in all City of Fort Worth public libraries with your valid Fort Worth Library card. Other municipal library cards not accepted.
  • Sponsored Field Trips Program: One grade level at FWISD and other local schools is admitted free as determined by the school district. Return tickets are provided for field trip students on free and reduced lunch.
  • Blue Star Program: Free admission between Memorial Day and Labor Day for active military personnel (with military ID) plus up to five family members.
  • Family Community Pass Program: 4,500 admission passes distributed annually through non-profits to provide to their clients, ensuring transportation is also available.
  • Free after-hour family and cultural events at least quarterly, growing to monthly over time.
  • Children under age 18 with school ID: Free admission 3 to 6 pm every school day (not valid on summer vacation or school holidays/breaks), Fort Worth ISD only.

No, there is no parking fee for the Garden.

Managing hundreds of thousands of visitors in cars while charging admission would be logistically challenging. More importantly, botanic gardens are designed and intended for walking so that visitors can interact up-close with other living things. Guests who walk can also experience the Garden’s 23 theme gardens that would otherwise be missed if driving directly only to the Rose Ramp or Japanese Garden. Eliminating cars from the Garden makes for a safer, quieter, more relaxing and altogether better experience for everyone. For those who need assistance, a free tram is available. 

Entry points to the Garden need to be staffed at all times to collect admission fees. Our schedule also allows private events to be held after hours, thus improving the guest experience for our regular visitors.

No. Members receive unlimited access to the Garden during regular business hours. Click here to learn more or become a member.

An individual membership is $50 per year. A family membership begins at $80 per year and covers two adults plus all children (18 years and younger) who live in the same household. Other member levels with more admission benefits are available.

Click here to learn more or become a member.

No, Garden admission is included with the registration fee for the program. 

FWBG | BRIT volunteers do not have to pay to enter the Garden on the days they are volunteering.

If you are coming to the Garden to use it as a photo backdrop we ask that you pay the photography fee. You can find out more by clicking here

No, there is no charge to attend private meetings or events held in Garden Center facilities.  Admission is only charged when leaving the building to visit the Garden.

No, guest admission cost is included in the rental fee.

Students on free and reduced lunches and classes from Title I schools may be eligible for free or reduced admission. FWISD classes also receive special discounts. We offer several options for school groups including professionally-led science lessons in the Garden. Contact the education department for more information at info@brit.org.

Membership makes it easy to visit benches in memory of friends or family members as often as you’d like. Special arrangements for free family visits on a limited basis can also be arranged by contacting the Garden Operation's office.

As of August 6, 2021, picnics are allowed with certain guidelines. Click here for more information. 

For the 2021 CFW fiscal year, funding for the Garden's operating budget can be broken down as follows:
  • 45 percent through public support from the City of Fort Worth,
  • 32 percent from general admission fees,
  • 10 percent from retail sales in gift shops and special events,
  • 6 percent from rental fees for garden facilities,
  • 6 percent from memberships, and
  • 1 percent from donations and foundations.

Generated revenues are showing strong growth each year, and the number of memberships has increased exponentially since the program was launched in 2020.  While philanthropic support of operational expenses still lags behind comparable peer institutions, major upcoming events like Butterflies in the Garden are beginning to bring in substantial support from sponsorships. Also, membership drives philanthropy, and donated operational gifts should begin to grow with that program.

The City of Fort Worth has legal obligations and limits on how it can move money from one project to another. Money for these high-profile projects was awarded for specific purposes from a variety of federal, state and local sources. Many of these dollars are not under the control of the City of Fort Worth. When the city does contribute, funds must, by law, be used for the purpose designated. 

Bond funding would help the Garden initially to fund specific improvements, but it would not solve the yearly problem of funding Garden operations. Bond funds cannot be used for operations and maintenance, only new construction.

FWBG | BRIT receives significant funding from private donors, and we are grateful for that support. But donors are understandably hesitant to put money into operations that cannot sustain themselves. Large donations might help in the short term or with specific projects, but the problem of long-term sustainability would remain. In fact, donors are more likely to contribute to an organization with multiple funding streams that can demonstrate fiscal stability.

More than 1,000 volunteers yearly contribute tens of thousands hours to FWBG | BRIT. However, highly specialized subject matter experts, including our master horticulturists, must work with volunteers to maintain and improve the Garden.

The percentage of city contributions to the total funding for the garden in Fiscal Year 2021 was 45 percent. That number will go down in Fiscal Year 2022. We carefully track this figure, because the management agreement between BRIT and the City requires that we reduce the percentage of total garden funding from the city annually.

The actual amount of the Garden's budget from City funding in Fiscal Year 2021 as a percentage of total property tax revenues was .0056 percent, or just over five thousandths of one percent. For 2021, the Garden received $3.40 per resident of Fort Worth, or $10.21 for an average family of three. 

Although City support will remain a critical part of our total funding package, the Garden was never able to achieve operationally sustainability based on city funding alone.  Furthermore, admission fees and memberships shift the funding of the bulk of Garden operations and improvements to those individuals who use and enjoy the Garden the most. 

A membership program alone could not create a consistent $1.2 million dollar revenue stream to make the Garden sustainable.

Events and rentals have never provided enough income to meet the Garden's operating budget. 

The Garden presents unique challenges that make city management difficult. Non-profit/private management will allow for more flexibility in responding to Garden needs.