March 19, 2020
Dear friends:

As the reality of a protracted health crisis and resulting economic slowdown sinks in everywhere, we wanted to share with you this latest update on how we at BBG see the crisis unfolding, what we are doing in response, and how you can help BBG -- and our community -- at this time.

What we expect to see:

-- Several months of restrictions on how we all live our lives, including limitations on public gatherings, closure of all but essential businesses, and an emphasis on spending long periods of time at home and isolated from our normal social contacts;

-- A resulting drastic decline in economic activity that will affect businesses large and small, including the nonprofit sector that BBG is a part of;

-- Personal hardship and loss of income and job security for many.

What we at BBG are doing to protect our community and staff:

-- We have already informed our community that all BBG educational and other programs through April 15, as well as our May 8-9 Plant Sale, are being canceled.

--  We are now making the difficult decision to cancel all other programs through the end of May, and will keep our Visitor Center closed to visitors through May 31 as well.

-- We have closed all BBG buildings to the public and are transitioning all BBG staff to staggered workdays and/or remote working until further notice. Our phone lines and website will still be available to you as a resource, and we encourage you to check in often as we provide updates.

-- We are implementing strict cost controls for the organization while ensuring we can support our staff, our most valuable asset, through the crisis.

How BBG will continue to be true to our mission:

-- We will continue to work on hundreds of horticultural tasks to keep our gardens looking their best, and will continue to invite individuals to visit our grounds while following current guidelines on keeping your distance. Please note that no restrooms will be open to the public until further notice.

-- We are looking to revamp future educational offerings to allow for virtual classroom and online learning, and promise to keep you informed and entertained through our social media outreach.

-- We know that money will be tight for many, so we will offer as much free programming as we can.

-- We are helping the local community by providing resources (such as the BBG van for food bank deliveries) wherever possible, and remain in close contact with other nonprofit organizations and community groups to share information, since together we are stronger.

What you can do right now:

-- If you are able to, please continue to support BBG by becoming a  BBG member or renewing your existing membership now.  We are a member-supported organization and in times like these, your support, at any level, is even more crucial to help us continue our operations and pay our dedicated staff.

-- If you come to visit our grounds, please consider making a cash donation at our visitor kiosk if you are able to. 

-- If we are canceling a class you have registered for, we will of course refund your registration fee in full. Alternatively, please consider turning your registration fee into a 100% tax-deductible donation. It will help us immensely while we wait to get back to normal.

-- If you have scheduled a special event here at the Garden that cannot take place because of our closure, please consider finding a future date that will work for you, rather than canceling.

-- Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus and health guidelines, but don't let the constant barrage of news distract or dismay you!

-- Find new ways to stay connected to others despite physical distance, and find interesting things to do at home and in your garden for you and your family. Let us provide you with inspiration and education wherever we can!

-- Help support your family, friends, colleagues and everyone in your local community in these difficult times by finding creative ways to keep money flowing through our economy, since every little bit will help.

Whether you are a member, volunteer, visitor, shopper, advertiser, or other supporter of BBG, we want to thank you for being part of the BBG family. From all of us, please stay safe and healthy, and we look forward to helping each other in this challenging time.


Sincerely,
Michael Beck
Executive Director 
Matthew Larkin
Board Chairman