Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum has set a record.

In 2017, more than 40,000 families joined the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – a goal which had teased Arboretum officials for years. 2015 ended with just under 35,000 members, and 2016 was the first year to exceed 2012’s high of 35,277, a record brought on by the exhibit and visit by Dale Chihuly. The magic number was met in December during Holiday at the Arboretum.

The bump in membership is likely to bring more visitors, particularly as temperatures warm.

“As we add more members, our attendance increases,” says J. Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, “and so does the economic impact to North Texas.”

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A recent study by SMU’s Cox School of Business said the Arboretum generated an economic impact of $105 million in 2016 to the North Texas region.

The Arboretum is funded through membership fees and contributions.

“Our goal has always been to be the best membership investment,” adds Wolf, “so we continually think of new ways to enrich our members’ visits with plenty to see and experience: breathtaking display gardens, creative floral festival themes, research and trial gardens, exciting entertainment, summer art and sculpture exhibits, imaginative pumpkin houses and spectacular holiday displays.”

Garden officials say they are ready now to set the next record and to keep long-time members coming back for frequent visits. Workers are already busy-as-bees preparing for Dallas Blooms, the February 24 to April 8 festival featuring 500,000 spring blossoms, thousands of azaleas and hundreds of Japanese cherry trees. This year’s theme is “A World of Flowers.”

A Tasteful Place debuted last fall, with 3.5-acres of edible vegetable, fruit and herb garden and a pavilion, lagoon and views of the downtown Dallas skyline. The Rory Myers Children’s Adventure Garden opened in 2013.

If you’d like to join the Arboretum, you may learn about the benefits of membership and join online here. If you are interested in volunteering, learn more here.