Vallarta Botanical Garden in the Running for Best Botanical Garden in North America

The Vallarta Botanical Garden is still holding its own amongst some of the biggest and best gardens of the world in this year’s USA Today Reader’s Choice Contest!

For the second year in a row, the Vallarta Botanical Garden is the only Mexican Garden in the annual USA Today “Reader’s Choice” Contest

Last year, the Vallarta Botanical Garden placed 4th in USA Today’s list of the 10 Best Botanical Gardens in North America coming in after Longwood Gardens (Pennsylvania), Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was the only garden outside of the US to make this list. This year, the Vallarta Botanical Garden and the Montreal Botanical Garden are the only two non-US gardens to make the list of 19 contest nominees and it has been placing between the 4th and 6th-place spots in the daily voting.

The Vallarta Botanical Garden’s Executive Director, Neil Gerlowski, explained the importance of this contest. “With a daily circulation of about a million printed copies and an even larger digital distribution, USA Today has a circulation comparable to that of The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. The Vallarta Botanical Garden’s high placement in last year’s USA Today contest was a major coup for the marketing of our institution. More importantly, this ranking has an enormous positive effect on how the outside world perceives Puerto Vallarta and Mexico in general. It shows that we are a community fostering a leading cultural, educational, and conservation-oriented institution of international fame and recognition; great news worth celebrating by Mexicans both here and abroad!”

Competition for the USA Today Reader’s Choice Contest is stiff. Most of the gardens on the list of nominees are big institutions from big cities. In many cases, their marketing budgets alone are higher than the entire annual operating budget of the Vallarta Botanical Garden, a non-profit that receives no direct public funds in support of its projects, programs, or operating costs. “What we have instead [of public funds] however, is of immeasurable value—a community that cares enough to support our work.”

This kind of care and support for the Vallarta Botanical Garden and its wealth of native Mexican plants is what allowed it to place so highly in this contest last year. For a relatively young garden, the Vallarta Botanical Garden is developing impressive collections. Take, for example, its Magnolia collection—the first plant collection south of the US border to receive provisional accreditation from the American Public Garden Association. However, these collections are not just impressive to scientists and plant aficionados; they are exceedingly beautiful and cherished by visitors from all over the world.

With a tropical location at nearly the same latitude as Hawaii, plants in Puerto Vallarta thrive naturally. However, under the attention of a team of dedicated horticulturists, they are pampered to their full potential and arranged in the landscape for maximum dramatic effect, and the results are nothing short of breathtaking. There is always something new in fruit or in bloom at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, and every visit is sure to surpass any reasonable expectations. Mexicans from all parts of the Republic and visitors from around the world are beginning to appreciate and take pride in the Vallarta Botanical Garden.
Please show your support by participating in the USA Today Contest <> and by voting daily until the contest closes on April 22. Vote for Vallarta! Vote for México!