The votes are in and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia at the University of Georgia is among the top 10 gardens in the U.S. in the most recent USA Today poll.

The State Botanical Garden came in seventh in the 10Best Botanical Gardens contest, ahead of bigger facilities, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Chicago Botanical Garden.

“The State Botanical Garden has been recognized along with some large and impressive gardens across the nation,” said Jenny Cruse-Sanders, director of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. “What I love about this is that it has brought attention to what we love about gardens and how they enrich our lives.”

The 10Best contests are readers’ choice awards sponsored by USA Today. A panel of experts selected the top 20 contenders in each category and then gave readers four weeks to vote for their top choice.

Cruse-Sanders says she believes the extensive research, education and outreach initiatives at the garden contributed to its popularity with voters.

“Some of the garden programs, such as student experiences and training in the garden, the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance and pollinator conservation through Connect to Protect, are helping to address grand challenges facing our communities,” Cruse-Sanders said.

Each year, more than 200,000 people visit the State Botanical Garden of Georgia garden, with thousands coming for classes, volunteer opportunities and events.

Click here for a list of the USA Today 10Best contest’s top 10 winners.

Contact: Jenny Cruse-Sanders,, 706-542-6131