Central dome of the Palm House of the Victorian Conservatory and Bartholdi Fountain, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

United States Botanic Garden: 200 Years of Contributions

March 11, 2024
Dr. Susan Pell shared the 200 year history of the U.S. Botanic Garden, the oldest continuously operating botanic garden in the United States and a much-loved Capitol Hill neighbor.

The eye-catching conservatory and variety of plant displays of the United States Botanic Garden at the base of Capitol Hill has long been a treasured destination for residents and tourists. Dr. Susan Pell, USBG executive director, looked back at the garden's more than 200 years of history and its many contributions to national life. Using historic photos, media coverage, and stories from the USBG archives, Dr. Pell shared how the garden established by Congress in 1820 grew with a collection of living plants brought back from a 1842 naval expedition into the institution that now serves more than one million visitors each year, inspiring people to appreciate, study, and conserve plants.

Dr. Pell has spent her career at public gardens as a botanist, educator, and leader and has conducted fieldwork internationally in support of her research.

Admission to Overbeck Lectures is free but a reservation is required due to limited capacity. Reservations can be made through Hill Center.

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