Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

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Exterior of the Des Moines Botanical Center building and dome

The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden (known as the Des Moines Botanical Center until 2013) is a 14-acre (6-hectare) botanical garden located near downtown Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on the east bank of the Des Moines River and north of I-235.

History[edit]

Interest in a Des Moines botanical center began in 1929. A city greenhouse was acquired on the west side of the river in 1939, which served the city as a production and display greenhouse until the Botanical Center was completed in 1979. From 2004 to December 31, 2012, the facility was operated on behalf of the city by Des Moines Water Works. On January 2, 2013, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden opened for the first time as a nonprofit organization under the leadership of president and CEO Stephanie Jutila and the governance of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Board of Directors. The institution is undergoing a dynamic renewal funded by a successful capital campaign to raise $12.6 million for the Phase I expansion of the outdoor gardens and improvements to the existing conservatory and building.

The conservatory has over a 1,200 different taxa from around the world in artistic settings designed to explore, explain and celebrate the majesty of the plant world. Future outdoor gardens, designed by the Chicago-based landscape architect Doug Hoerr, will include a new rose garden, entrance garden, nearly 0.5-acre water garden, maple allée, belvedere overlooking the Des Moines River, celebration lawn and walled perennial border, conifer and gravel garden, a hillside garden, and an annual and bulb parterre.[citation needed] These gardens reflect the institution's commitment to developing gardens as forms of public art. The gardens will feature rich annual color designs conceived around artistic concepts inspired from music, history, art and pop culture, utilizing plants as the ingredients for exhibitions.

From the 1986 until the mid 2000s, the Botanical Center was a used as a Do It Yourself venue for the Des Moines Underground, Punk and Hardcore Music scene. Countless national touring acts such as Henry Rollins, Scream, Saint Vitus, Regional and Local bands played shows for all ages in the rental halls there. Often these bands and their fans had no other venue open to them in the area and for that reason the Botanical Center provided a much needed space for the music scene.[citation needed]

According to a contest on the WHO Radio Van & Bonnie morning show on June 21, 2011, the dome is constructed of 665 plexiglass panels.[unreliable source?]

In September 2020, CEO Stephanie Jutila resigned and was succeeded by Kim Perez in March 2021.[1]

Dining and events[edit]

The Trellis Café open for lunch is located inside the Botanical Center with its entrance accessible under the dome through the gardens.[2]

Various events occur at the Botanical Center including a summer concert series which starts in June.[3]

March 2021 planned improvements[edit]

In March 2021, the Botanical Center revealed its plans for the development of an additional 7 acres (3 ha) which will include improved connections to both I-235 and the riverfront, an additional exterior entrance to the Trellis Café, a willow garden near the river with water and sand areas for children and families to enjoy, a River Cafe with edible fruit and vegetables planted nearby, restrooms, an amphitheater located in natural topography with a dry garden overlooking the amphitheater, and an elevated pathway through a canopy of trees in the rolling hills of the heavily wooded space.[4]

Nearby recreational trails[edit]

Located between the Botanical Center and the Des Moines River in the greater Des Moines trails system, the Neil Smith Trail and the John Pat Dorian Trail connect just north of the Botanical Center along the eastside of the Des Moines River. Portions of these trails may be underwater when the Des Moines River is 13 feet (4.0 m) above flood stage between the Saylorville Dam and downtown Des Moines.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Norvell, Kim (March 23, 2021). $23 million expansion plans revealed for Des Moines Botanical Garden. The Des Moines Register. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  2. ^ Lisa LaValle's Trellis Café. Botanical Center website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  3. ^ Music in the Garden. Botanical Center website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  4. ^ Norvell, Kim (March 23, 2021). $23 million expansion plans revealed for Des Moines Botanical Garden. The Des Moines Register. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  5. ^ "Neil Smith and John Pat Dorrain Trails". Iowa Trails Homepage from the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation website. Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  6. ^ "Des Moines Parks and Recreation". City of Des Moines Park and Recreation website. Archived from the original on April 29, 2013. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  7. ^ The Neal Smith Trail: One of the Best, Unique Trails in Central Iowa. DesMoinesOutdoors.com website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  8. ^ John Pat Dorrian Trail: A Fantastic Trail in Downtown Des Moines. DesMoinesOutdoors.com website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  9. ^ PDF Map of the Neil Smith Trail. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  10. ^ Des Moines River height. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  11. ^ Neal Smith Trail. BikeIowa website. Retrieved May 25, 2021.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°35′49″N 93°36′50″W / 41.5969°N 93.6138°W / 41.5969; -93.6138