We met our Duthie Matching Goal!

Thanks to your support, we were able to meet the $500k match and raise over $1 million toward the gardens in 2018

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Speak for the Trees

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A campaign to raise $1 million toward building the Graeser Family Education Center

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Phase 1

Opening in 2019

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Dear WBG Supporters,

It is with great sadness that we share with you the news that Emil Graeser passed away on Saturday, December 22, 2018, and Nancy Graeser passed away on January 5, 2019.

As many of you know, Emil and Nancy and their family are huge supporters of WBG. In fact, we would not have progressed as far as we have today without their support.

As a child, Emil found an ad in the back of a magazine and sent off for a Bonsai tree. He was passionate about Bonsai ever since. A Japanese garden has been planned for Phase 3 of the project, which will include Bonsai. Emil was delighted to know that his dream of a Bonsai garden in Louisville would one day be realized.

Emil and Nancy were true visionaries. They knew what it took to build a project of this size, and was willing to do anything they could to make it happen. Not only are they responsible for the funding of the Graeser Family Education Center, they introduced George Duthie to the project when he wanted to honor the memory of his wife, Mary Lee. The Mary Lee Duthie Gardens will surround the Graeser Family Education Center, a wonderful legacy for the families of these two friends.

Join us in remembering these wonderful people with vision. They were our supporters, cheerleaders, friends, mentors, connectors, advisors, and constant reminders to keep the project moving and to never give up.

Emil and Nancy Graeser join Helen Harrigan as visionaries who will always be remembered as catalysts in giving Louisville a world-class botanical garden.

We are eternally grateful and inspired.

Emil Graeser 1930-2018

Nancy Graeser 1930-2019



BELIEVE IN The Vision…

The mission of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens is to develop experiences that promote appreciation and understanding of plants for a more harmonious and sustainable world. Our vision is to create a botanical garden and conservatory of extraordinary beauty that engages, enlightens, and inspires people about plants and nature.

Construction is underway,

Donate today to be visionary.



Your financial support of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens project is critical at this early stage.



Join us today! You’ll support a great cause and get an inside view as we realize our vision of building Louisville’s botanical gardens.



Find out how you can join other members of our community as we roll up our sleeves to make the gardens a reality.


EPA Public Hearing, Jan. 22 2019

Waterfront Botanical Gardens will hold a public meeting on January 22, 2019 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm at the Butchertown Social (http://www.butchertownsocial.com/) as part of the application for an Environmental Protection …


(WDRB) Waterfront Botanical Gardens open for construction site hard hat tours

A longtime Louisville landfill is being transformed into a $60 million public garden. The new Waterfront Botanical Gardens near the Big Four Bridge at River Road and Frankfort Avenue is in the …


Phase 1 Fundraising Progress

$9,000,000 raised toward $16,000,000 goal

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