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On Nov. 13, 1960, a meeting was held that led to the creation of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.
Held at Seelys Castle, then the location of Asheville-Biltmore College (precursor to UNC Asheville), the meeting formally established the Asheville-Biltmore College Botanical Association.
By the time of the meeting, plans were already underway to develop a botanical garden on a 10-acre tract of land along Reed Creek that had been set aside by the colleges Board of Trustees at the new campus site. In 1961 the college moved to the new campus, which is the current home of UNCA and the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.
At the meeting, Asheville-Biltmore College president Dr. Glenn Bushey paid special tribute to Bruce Shinn, who prompted the newspaper to editorialize on the need for a public garden, and Cornelia Ann Serota, a biology professor who approached the college with the idea. Gertrude Ramsey was selected as the organizations first president and Doan Ogden was selected to serve as the landscape architect for the new gardens.