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The San Diego Botanic Garden’s groundbreaking on the 9,300-square-foot Dickinson Family Education Conservatory is set for Aug. 7. Courtesy rendering
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Dickinson Pavilion groundbreaking set for Aug. 7

ENCINITAS — The groundbreaking of the San Diego Botanic Garden’s long-awaited education pavilion is scheduled for Aug. 7 at the Hamilton Children’s Garden on the park’s north side.

The 9,300-square-foot Dickinson Family Education Conservatory has been in the works for years. Garden officials have long wanted to increase its educational offerings and conference and meeting space within the garden.

The conservatory and its 400-person capacity will quadruple the garden’s current meeting and event space. It would also include multiple classrooms, a full kitchen for catering and cooking classes, an amphitheater and access to expanded parking.

The long road to approval ended when the Planning Commission unanimously approved it in February. Prior to that, garden officials had spent years raising money for the pavilion,

The fundraising was spurred by a $1 million pledge from the Dickinson Family Foundation, which came with a proviso: that the garden had to secure the other $3 million needed to complete the project.

Originally, the botanic garden and city considered doing a land swap that would allow the county to secure control over the city’s portion of the land, which would then allow the county to contribute $2 million in grant funds toward the project.

Duval, however, said the negotiations would take too long, so they redirected the county grant money toward several other projects on the grounds.

The botanic garden raised the funds through traditional fundraising methods and have nearly completed its goal of $4 million.

The groundbreaking ceremony will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at 300 Quail Gardens Drive. RSVP at or call (760) 436-3036, ext. 217.