A popular sightseeing attraction on any of the San Francisco tours is the famous Golden Gate Park, a place that can guarantee to have something for everyone, with world class museums, jogging and biking trails, golf, archery, horse stables, roaming bison, a zoo, life-sized windmill, lakes and gardens and most importantly, the wide opened spaces that can accommodate just about any recreational outdoor activity. One of the highlights of the park for many is the fifty-five acre Botanical Gardens, which gets more than four hundred thousand visitors per year who enjoy the walking paths through more than seven thousand five hundred types of plants which are clustered according to their origins.
The Botanical Gardens has always been a special place of beauty, but it has been that much more remarkable because it has always been free. That may be changing soon as the city’s parks and recreation department is proposing that a fee be imposed on the gardens. The department is trying to address a budgetary shortfall expected for next year of more than eleven million dollars and imposing a fee at the gardens is just one of many prospective revenue enhancers being considered. If imposed, they would likely become permanently attached to the attraction, but the funds would ensure that the Botanical Gardens would remain world class. While the proposed five dollar fee is sure to ruffle some local feathers, the adjoining Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Gardens have both been charging that fee for some time, so the Botanical gardens is merely coming in line with its surroundings. There will also be an opportunity to visit the gardens for free all day on the first Tuesday of each month and they will also be free every morning from seven to nine.