Steeped in history, the United States Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that informs visitors about the importance, and often irreplaceable value, of plants to people and Earth’s ecosystems.
More than 200 years ago, George Washington had a vision for the capital city of the United States that included a botanic garden to demonstrate and promote the importance of plants to the young nation. The U.S. Botanic Garden fulfills that vision. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the Garden is an independent federal agency in the legislative branch and has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol since 1934. It is the oldest continuously operating public garden in the United States.
Today the Garden directly serves the U.S. Congress and more than one million visitors per year. We strive to be a global leader in botanic garden excellence.
U.S. Botanic Garden Mission
The U.S. Botanic Garden inspires people to appreciate, study, and conserve plants to enrich society locally and globally.
We carry out this mission by:
- promoting botanical knowledge through the cultivation of an ordered collection of plants;
- presenting plant displays, exhibits, and educational programs;
- fostering sustainability and plant conservation.
- advancing the exchange of ideas and information with national and international partners.
Professional Memberships and Accreditations
The U.S. Botanic Garden is accredited as a museum by the American Alliance of Museums in recognition of its commitment to excellence, accountability, and continued improvement, and as a botanic garden by Botanic Gardens Conservation International in recognition of its scientific approach to collections management and conservation initiatives.
The Garden is a member of the American Public Gardens Association, the American Alliance of Museums, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Center for Plant Conservation, the U.S. Green Building Council, the Professional Grounds Management Society, and the American Horticultural Society.