A Brief History
Although South Bay Botanic Garden was officially established in January of 2008, its
history really began in 1974. As the college's horticulture program, the garden started
as an empty field, one greenhouse, and no plants. However, through the efforts of
countless students learning the skills of planting and hardscape installation, the
garden has grown into a park-like setting of hundreds of different varieties of plants.
A member of the American Public Garden Association (APGA), the South Bay Botanic Garden consists of 4 acres of trees, shrubs, flowers, grounds covers, various turfgrasses, plant collections, and water features all framed in a pleasant setting. As part of the Landscape and Nursery Technology Program at Southwestern College, the garden continues to be a learning facility for students pursuing degrees in the horticultural fields. Don't be surprised to see a group of students working on the garden or learning a horticultural skill.
The garden is located on the Southwestern College Main Campus at Chula Vista, about 8 miles from the Pacific Ocean to the west and 5 miles from the Mexican border to the south. We are located about 20 minutes from downtown San Diego. Our climate enjoys the cooling effect of the nearby Pacific Ocean but is inland far enough to receive consistent sunshine.
The South Bay Botanic Garden is overseen by a group of dedicated volunteers that help to determine the direction of the garden. They organize activities, hold volunteer work days, and provide input as to the goals and future direction of the garden. If you would like to participate, simply contact us by phone or email and we will add you to our list of garden supporters and keep you informed of meetings and garden events.