About Fairchild

 

    About Fairchild                                                                                                            Fairchild Rainforest stream (photo by M. Collins)

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is truly a unique place. Here you can walk garden paths surrounded by the wonders and beauty of nature, talk to experts in horticulture, conservation and science, view impressive art, see butterflies and birds at every turn and take classes on everything from photography to grafting.

Who We Are

Fairchild is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. We are one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and Africa and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.

As we work around the world, Fairchild’s level of dedication to native plant conservation in South Florida remains unparalleled. We also have one of  the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads. This year we will reach over 100,000 students with our Fairchild Challenge, Explorer and Discovery programs and more than 3,000 adults will participate in our Life Long Learning education courses.

With 45,000 members and over 1,200 volunteers, Fairchild plays many roles, including museum, laboratory, learning center and conservation research facility, but its greatest role is preserving biodiversity, which the garden’s scientists, staff and volunteers all contribute to on a daily basis. In 2012, Fairchild also became the home of the American Orchid Society.

Our festivals such as the International Mango Festival and the International Chocolate Festival are more than just spectacular events; they also have an education component with local and global experts giving lectures, talks and classes. Fairchild is also a cultural leader in the community. Our garden showcases tremendous art exhibitions and concerts each year.

Our History

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden gets its name from one of the most famous plant explorers in history, David Fairchild (1869-1954). Fairchild was known for traveling the world in search of useful plants, but he was also an educator and a renowned scientist. At the age of 22, he created the Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction of the United States Department of Agriculture, and for the next 37 years, he traveled the world in search of plants of potential use to the American people. Fairchild visited every continent in the world (except Antarctica) and brought back hundreds of important plants, including mangos, alfalfa, nectarines, dates, cotton, bamboos and the flowering cherry trees that grace Washington D.C.

Dr. Fairchild retired to Miami in 1935 and joined a group of passionate plant collectors and horticulturists, including retired accountant  Col. Robert H. Montgomery, environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, County Commissioner Charles Crandon and landscape architect William Lyman Phillips. This core group worked tirelessly to bring the idea of a one of a kind botanic garden to life, and in 1938, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden opened its 83 acres to the public for the first time.

Now Open

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s state-of-the-art DiMare Science Village, covering more than 25,000 square feet and featuring five buildings including the The Clinton Family Conservatory’s Wings of the Tropics Exhibit, Glass House Café, Windows to the Tropics Conservatory, The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion and the Kushlan Tropical Science Institute is now open.

Our Mission

Our mission is to save tropical plant diversity by exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants; fundamental to this task is inspiring a greater knowledge and love for plants and gardening so that all can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the tropical world.

Support

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is supported by contributions from members and friends, and in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissions, and with the support of the City of Coral Gables.