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The Sawtooth Botanical Garden will put a “twist” on its traditional schedule—and hallmark fundraiser—this fall.

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden has announced restructured plans for this autumn, including the cancellation of this year’s Bug Zoo and a reimagined fundraiser.

The Bug Zoo is one of the garden’s flagship annual events, attracting hundreds of visitors, especially children, from near and far. Typically scheduled for late April or early May, the Bug Zoo had previously been postponed to the autumn following the closure of area schools.

Tentative plans to restructure the Bug Zoo in the form of classroom visits have now also been called off.

“Because of the uncertainty regarding in-school activities this fall, we felt it best to hold the Bug Zoo again when safety protocols have been lifted or drastically adjusted,” Executive Director Jen Smith said.

The garden also typically holds a largescale gala fundraiser in the summer called Gimlets in the Garden. This has been reimagined in the form of two smaller events that will take place outside and with safety measures in place.

The first, Walk & Wine, is a winetasting and tapas event with six separate stations for winetasting and raffle prizes. Participants are encouraged to arrive any time between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 2. The event will conclude at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at sbgarden.org.

Early October will see a similarly structured event called Gimlets in the Garden … With a Twist.

The garden is currently planning to proceed with its annual New Moon Dinners on new moon evenings in November, December, January and February. These catered dinners highlight the Central Idaho Dark Sky Preserve and feature astronomy experts on the darkest nights of the year.

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden has had success earlier this summer adapting events to new health and safety guidelines. Most notable of these was the Garden Tour.

“We held an incredibly safe and successful Garden Tour in July where our 500-plus attendees were physically distanced and wearing masks according to Blaine County COVID guidelines,” Smith said. “We hope to build on that success with two smaller, more intimate, yet still physically distanced fundraisers that offer both in-person and virtual philanthropic opportunities to support the region’s public botanical garden.”

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden is at 11 Gimlet Road, just a few miles south of Ketchum on the east side of state Highway 75. The garden is currently open to visitors. Learn more at sbgarden.org.

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