NC State University is hosting their annual Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Please consider donating in support of Juniper Level Botanic Garden to preserve this world-class resource for future generations. You can help preserve and shape the future of horticulture! Please consider making your tax-deductible donation today.

Souto Sun Garden in spring

Here is a bit of the garden’s history and it’s importance for the future:

In 1986, Tony, and his now late wife, Michelle, opened Plant Delights Nursery. Juniper Level Botanic Garden (JLBG) was built to surround the nursery, first as a trial garden, and later as an ex-situ conservation and propagation garden. Over the years, JLBG evolved into one of the most significant ex-situ plant collections in the world, and in doing so has hosted and worked with many of the worlds’ most brilliant horticultural minds. To date, JLBG has been completely supported by a portion of revenues from Plant Delights Nursery, with a current operational funding level of $500,000 annually.

In 2016, Tony and Anita Avent executed legal documents with NCSU and the JC Raulston Arboretum to gift their entire 28 acre garden and nursery to JCRA. In accepting this gift, the financial advisors at NC State require Juniper Level Botanic Garden to fully fund a $20 million dollar operational endowment before this merger can be consummated. While the property is preserved without the endowment, there are no funds to maintain or run the garden, so your gift is critical for the garden to remain functional for the future. The merger of Juniper Level Botanic Garden and JC Raulston Arboretum as sister institutions will create a one-of-a-kind resource for plant research, plant genetics, plant preservation, plant education and appreciation.

Since the garden’s inception, climate change continues to warm the planet, and as temperatures around the world are on the rise, the best chance to actually save and multiply endangered and threatened plant species is not by leaving then alone and hoping for the best. We feel that ex-situ plant conservation, propagation, and unrestricted sharing is the best solution.

In addition to the conservation efforts at JLBG, our very existence has proven to combat global warming. Recent research led by the University of Surrey in the UK has found that botanical gardens can lower the temperature of inner city air by as much as 9° F (5 °C). Trees and plants help reduce heat by reducing the amount of direct sunlight reaching the ground, while also releasing moisture into the air, and water bodies cool the surrounding environment via evapotranspiration. As climate change warms the planet, planning to include urban infrastructure like botanical gardens, parks, street trees, green walls and wetlands could help cool cities. (by Paul Ridden, the study is open access via the journal The Innovation.)

Fund raising efforts for Juniper Level Botanic Garden operate under the auspices of The Endowment Fund of NC State University, a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax id 56-6000756. You will receive an official receipt for your donation.

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