About Us

The Georgeson Botanical Garden (GBG) is a nationally recognized botanical garden and a member of a network of educational and research institutions dedicated to plant culture and conservation.  It is located at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm and is part of the School of Natural Resources and Extension at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Mission Statement

To discover, share knowledge, and inspire people about high-latitude horticulture through research, education, and outreach in order to provide deeper understanding and appreciation of the role of plants in our lives and environment.

History

The Georgeson Botanical Garden began in 1989 as a research, educational, and public outreach program. However its roots lie much deeper.  In 1898, 31 years after the US purchased Alaska, the Secretary of Agriculture of the USDA sent special agent of agriculture, Charles Christian Georgeson, to Alaska to explore the agricultural potential of the state.  His job was to determine if this remote land of extreme environmental conditions could be farmed and, thus, sustain a human population.  Georgeson established 7 Agricultural experiment stations in Alaska.  The first one was is Sitka, the capital at that time.  Other stations included Kenai, Rampart, Copper Center, Kodiak, Fairbanks and Matanuska.  Fairbanks and Matanuska are the only remaining experiment farms.  The Fairbanks experiment station was established in 1906 and in 1931 the farm was incorporated into the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (renamed the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1935).

The purpose of setting up these experiment stations was to learn which crops would grow best, to develop techniques for crop production and to share knowledge with local residents.  The GBG maintains this goal today.