Executive director bids goodbye to the Botanical Garden 

The executive director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden Society after 11 years has resigned, just days after a controversial $7 fee for nonresidents to visit the garden was secured.

Michael McKechnie -- who was not immediately available for comment today -- has said in recent weeks that he fully supports the fee and according to a release issued today, wants to pursue “consulting in the world of public gardens.”

In the meantime Sue Ann Levin Schiff, a nonprofit senior executive, has been appointed as Interim Executive Director by the Society’s Trustees, according to the release.

Here is what Board of Trustees Chair Don Baldocchi wrote in the release:

“During his tenure, Michael has doubled the size of our important Youth Education Program, overseen capital improvement projects including the Pathway Project for improved accessibility and way-finding, the renovation of several gardens including the innovative Ancient Plant Garden, raised nearly $23 million for the current Capital Campaign that includes the Center for Sustainable Gardening and most recently helped secure San Francisco Board of Supervisors approval for sustainable operating funds for the garden through a non-resident admission fee.”

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Kamala Kelkar

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