Botanical Garden Re-opens To Public - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Botanical Garden Re-opens To Public

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By: Claire Powell
cpowell@myabc5.com
@clairenpowell

 

After being closed for almost three months due to construction, the Des Moines Botanical Garden re-opened Saturday morning with free admission thanks to The Principal Financial Group.

Over 700 people arrived within the first hour of opening to see the new features like wider pathways, a new elevator and a living wall. As people walked in, the smell of chocolate fills the air because the plants are being fertilized with cocoa mulch. 

"We noticed the change in the entryway, it's beautiful and I love the smell of chocolate in here. Everything looks more open, not so congested," said two visitors.

"I don't know when I'll be able to leave, it's just so beautiful. Meandering around the different areas and seeing so much. It's open, but there are so many different little areas throughout that you can meander around and see beautiful, gorgeous things," said Jean Curl, visitor to the center.

On a rainy day, it was the perfect place to bring kids for a scavenger hunt and a learning experience.

"I'm doing a scavenger hunt, you go around and look at different trees and plants from all over the world," said Tyler Jesse, 8.

"It's just really refreshing to come in here and see everything so green and it does look nice with what they've done with it," said Darlene Jesse, a visitor.

The botanical center is halfway through the first phase of renovation that will cost 11.6 million dollars. Fundraising is already underway for the second outdoor phase that will cost around 6.2 million dollars.

"It will still look like a busy, developing, evolving site but we think that's half the fun. We want people to come here and come often and see what's changed and what's new," said Kelly Norris, Horticulture Manager at the Botanical Garden. "So our objective over the course of the next many years is to raise money to keep developing that outdoor property into lush and beautiful gardens that are unique to Des Moines and that are a really compelling reason for people to come see what we're up to."  

A new cafe, Trellis, will also be open in November.

The Botanical Garden is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $4 for adults 65 and older, $3 for children ages 4-17 and free for children 3 and younger.

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