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Cleveland Botanical Garden, Holden Arboretum to merg
Merger will create the 13th largest public garden in North America

Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum are moving to combine their institutions into one entity with the shared mission of improving the world through plants and trees.
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The merger between the two non-profits has been discussed during the past decade but finally came to fruition following a vote by the Holden Arboretum board this week.  Holden CEO Clem Hamilton says the groups that are less than 30 miles apart will be able to coordinate ecological research and education efforts and attract more visitors. 

LISTEN: Botanical Garden and Holden Arboretum to merge

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We’ve been doing these things separately with some cooperation over the years but the thought of doing them all together is fundamentally why we’re taking this on and what we find most exciting," said Hamilton. 

Botanical Garden President Natalie Ronayne says the merger helps her group dig out from $11 million in debt. Its endowment has dipped below $10 million from more than $30 million before the recession.  

"The sooner we get to talking about the garden and Holden as ‘we’ instead of ‘us/them’ the better. And we anticipate major, major progress over the next six months with full—bore integration probably within a year or so,” said Ronayne. 

The merger will create the 13th largest public garden in North America.

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