Botanic Garden adds new positions and fee increases for 2019

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One of the few free attractions in Fort Worth is adding new employee positions as well as significant fee increases for 2019.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the state of Texas and has been struggling with funding recently, unlike its counterpart, the Fort Worth Zoo. According to Sandra Baker of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the zoo opened to humble beginnings, but the increasing ticket prices have helped grow the now-nationally ranked top five zoo in the nation.

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is entirely taxpayer-funded, meaning free admission and only requiring a portion of the budget to be paid off.

The current total fees add up to over 12 thousand dollars, which include several halls and gardens, now receiving hundred-dollar increases.

Graph used from the 2019 Fort Worth budget document.

The increases help assess the “proper pricing structure,” according to the Assistant Director of the Budget and Analysis Division, Terry A. Hanson.

New job opportunities are being created due to the increasing fees. The budget looks to include five more public attendants and another senior gardener for the garden’s roses. 

Hanson said the five new part-time attendant positions and senior gardener addition are more negligent concerning the budget, as the attendants tend to not last the whole year. 

Graph used from the 2019 Fort Worth budget document.

Notably, there is a 77 percent decrease in the “other” category of the fund summary for the gardens. Hanson explained that this sharp decrease from 206 thousand dollars to 46 thousand dollars was the establishment of salary savings in the fund. Due to frequent vacancies in this position, there were more savings.

Costs to the gardens are to primarily serve for maintenance and upkeep, not for any new additions or expansions, Hanson said.