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Botanical Garden reopens, looks ahead to 2014

Posted September 25, 2013 in Downtown, Community Web Exclusives

DES MOINES, Iowa (September 25, 2013) –
The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 28 after a nearly three-month closure for construction.  Admission that day is free and sponsored by The Principal Financial Group.

The reopening comes halfway through the $11.6 million project and includes a new lobby and office suite, renovated event spaces and improvements to the conservatory’s pathways, gardens and balcony.  The lobby is now home to Iowa’s first living wall, along with a garden shop featuring an assortment of naturally inspired gifts and books.  Trellis, the Botanical Garden’s new café under the culinary direction of Lisa LaValle, will open this November.

“Reopening the building is an important milestone as we embark on this new beginning,” says President and CEO Stephanie Jutila.  “The revival of the conservatory and the upgrades to the building will position us as a dynamic cultural institution with a passion for plants.”

The reopening comes as the Botanical Garden continues to develop several acres of outdoor gardens.  Outdoor renovations will be completed throughout 2013 and 2014, and include a new entry garden and parking lot, water garden, terraces, shade tree allée, a walled event lawn encircled by perennial borders and a conifer and gravel garden.  A second phase of fundraising is underway with a $6.2 million goal aimed at the continued development of outdoor gardens.  The Botanical Garden will eventually develop the entire 14-acre property situated along the Des Moines River with gardens.

The Botanical Garden is located at 909 Robert D. Ray Drive and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except major holidays. 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.  Admission is free with membership.  More information about events, programming and attractions is online at

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