The Gardens

The Waterfront Botanical Gardens

Louisville is a unique and thriving city! We are home to the most exciting two-minutes in sports, a brand-new arena and a world-class university. This truly is a great place to be! Botanica’s goal is to see Louisville become an even more spectacular place to live, work and play, and we want to do that through the building of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens.

The Waterfront Botanical Gardens will be a 22-acre botanical garden and conservatory on Louisville’s waterfront – just east of Waterfront Park – at the intersection of River Road and Frankfort Avenue. The Gardens will feature a greenhouse style conservatory and exterior gardens. Visitors will be able to experience, celebrate and learn about the beauty and wonder of plants and nature. Green-thumbed gardening fanatics, school-children, tourists and families alike will all be drawn to The Gardens and the experience they provide. The Waterfront Botanical Gardens will be the crown jewel in the cultural landscape of our community.

Strategically positioned near downtown and Louisville’s Waterfront Park, with easy access to expressways, public transportation, pedestrian and bicycle routes, The Waterfront Botanical Gardens will serve as a tourist and educational attraction for the region. The Gardens will highlight the beauty and healing properties of plants while educating, informing and entertaining people of all ages. The Garden will fulfill Botanica’s vision of seeing a garden built in Louisville that promotes environmental stewardship and a love of plants while being a global example of innovative “green” design in architecture, environmental elements and technology.

Our Site

SIte tour

Board members Bob Hill, Mark White and Mike Kimmel tour the proposed garden site.

The site for the Waterfront Botanical Gardens is located at the corner of Frankfort Avenue and River Road – just east of Waterfront Park. The 22-acre plot was previously the site of the Ohio Street City Dump. The dump was created to deal with refuse from the 1937 flood that devastated the surrounding neighborhood once known as the Point.  The site ceased serving as a dump in 1973 and since then trees and grasses have grown across what once was a swath of exposed soil and trash.

In 2009, the City of Louisville designated the site for the purposes of building a botanical garden. Botanica’s desire is to see the former dump reclaimed and transformed into a thing of great beauty! Let’s build a garden!

Getting There

Growing a tree starts with a small seed. Similarly, the idea for The Waterfront Botanical Gardens started with something small – an idea. It was the idea that the Louisville community would be greatly enriched by the presence of a botanical garden and conservatory. Many steps have been taken to get this idea moving and there are some very concrete steps that must be taken to advance the project further:

  • Build awareness in the community
    We need our roots firmly planted in the support of our community.
  • Raise the funds needed to complete our Master Plan
  • Complete the Master Plan & Design
    This is where the engineers and architects get involved and where we iron out all the particular of the site layout, the design and the features of the garden, etc.
  • Capital Campaign
    This phase focuses on the fund development necessary to finance the construction of the garden.
  • Building the garden

How You Can Help

Botanica needs your help to make the Waterfront Botanical Gardens a reality! You can help make this dream come true. Here’s how:

  • Tell your friends.
    Direct them to our website. Encourage them to get involved! Help them catch the vision of what a great asset The Garden would be for the community.
  • Become a member of Botanica.
  • Volunteer.
    Let us know how you’d like to become involved! If you’re not sure just let us know and we’ll find a place for you to get plugged-in!
  • Donate.
    Make a tax-deductible donation towards this very worthy cause!