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Ari Novy, San Diego Botanic Garden president and CEO. Courtesy photo
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San Diego Botanic Garden ushers in summer

Encinitas’ San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) beckons locals and visitors. With a fresh summer line-up, there are so many activities to explore — including fan-favorite Summer Nights on consecutive Thursdays through August 17th and the traveling exhibition, Savage Gardens, spotlighting carnivorous plants. All this and more is set across the 37-acre urban oasis.

We caught up with President and CEO Ari Novy on how he landed in Encinitas and why he “can think of few places with the natural beauty and amazing plant diversity of our little corner of California.”

Previously you were Chief Scientist at Leichtag Foundation and Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. How did you come to SDBG?

“I’m a 4th generation florist and plant biologist with a PhD in plant biology from Rutgers University. The first time I came to Encinitas was to visit SDBG and Leichtag Foundation. I couldn’t believe how special this area is from a horticultural and people perspective. I was thrilled to accept my job at Leichtag Foundation. When long-time President and CEO of SDBG Julian Duval retired, I was honored to put my hat in the ring. I’m thrilled to work with all of our partners at the Garden to envision the next several decades of growth and find new ways to help people connect to plants and each other. I’m particularly proud that we’ve created a Science and Conservation Department working to conserve plants throughout the County and region.”

You serve on the Environmental Commission for the City of Encinitas. The Encinitas Chamber will present a report to the Commission on its Environmental Sustainability efforts August 10th.

“The Encinitas Environmental Commission helps advise the City Council on matters of environmental concern. All of the Commissioners serve as volunteers and are City residents. I believe that the careful stewardship of our City’s environment is required so that citizens and visitors to Encinitas are healthy and happy. We are fortunate to live in a City where people and organizations like the Chamber not only want to steward the environment, but want to innovate the best way to manage it.”

SDBG will be hosting our next Moonlight Mixer on July 18.

“I love hosting the Moonlight Mixer. The Encinitas Chamber is an amazing group of community leaders who want to serve. SDBG strives to serve the community. Interfacing with the Chamber is a wonderful way to get the pulse of local business and nonprofit leaders.”

Describe your perfect day in Encinitas…

“Paddleboarding in the ocean, then grabbing donuts and walking the Garden to see what’s in bloom. Later, I’d head back to the beach with my family for some swimming and grab a burrito while watching the sun set.”

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