The thought of a San Francisco Botanical Garden docent brings to mind an elderly, woodsy person with decades of history in the forest or a botany student giving tours to pay tuition. One assumes that some sort of intimate association with the gardens is the only thing that could lead to the level of affection that a tour guide has.
Genevieve So bucks that notion. She is young, works in software and has no history with the gardens. She is just someone who volunteers her time because the gardens grabbed her. The fact that a person like So, with no previous relationship with the gardens, would dedicate her time as an ambassador speaks volumes about the power of the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. So gave a small mixed group of locals and visitors a tour of her favorite hotspots on Sunday, March 21.
The gardens house more than 80,000 species of plant from all over the world, many of which exist only within its borders. Recent city budget cuts have forced maintenance cutbacks that potentially threaten the quality of care given to the plants. The garden association recently approved a non-resident entrance fee to help make up for the lost revenue. Some had issue with the loss of free admission to the gardens, but So, among others, felt that there would be nothing to visit if the gardens were allowed to deteriorate.