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Keith Nevison Named Director of Horticulture & Operations at Santa Barbara Botanic Garden

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has named Keith Nevison the new Director of Horticulture & Operations. Nevison relocated from Virginia and began his job at the Garden on May 9, 2022.

“Keith’s background in community tree planting, ecological restoration, native plants, pollinators and experience at other botanic gardens make him an incredible asset to the Garden,” said Steve Windhager, Ph.D., the Garden’s executive director. “We all anticipate that his tenure will continue to make the Garden a place where people are inspired to plant native plants in their own landscapes.”

As Director of Horticulture and Operations, Nevison is responsible for the direct management of all operations of the physical gardens – horticulture, collections management, nursery production and retail sales, landscape design, maintenance, and infrastructure and facilities repairs.

“California contains so many splendors in its borders and the Garden is a perfect venue to showcase the beauty and uniqueness of our state’s biodiversity,” said Nevison. “It’s a dream come true to join this team which is dedicated to protecting California native plants and habitats, and is encouraging the public to do the same, for the health and well-being of people and the planet.”

Most recently, Nevison was Farm & Natural Resource Manager at Bundoran Farm, stewarding 2,300 acres of pastures, forests, and natural areas for a community association. In addition, he spent the last three years co-hosting Virginia Home Grown, a flagship PBS program exploring the delights and challenges of gardening in the Commonwealth. Previously, Nevison served as Manager of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants nursery at Monticello, Virginia, and launched the Monticello Center for Food and Farming.

Nevison grew up in Palmdale, California, pursued Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Portland State University. He obtained his M.S. in Public Horticulture through the Longwood Graduate Program at the University of Delaware, where he studied pollinator interactions on native Phlox and its cultivars. He presently holds certifications as a Master Naturalist, Wildland Firefighter Type 2 (FFT2), and an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Arborist.