In 2014, Botanica and the Perkins+Will team created the conceptual design of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens. The team studied the site in detail, worked to understand how our site relates to adjacent neighborhoods, and listened to Botanica members and community stakeholders to understand what we hope the gardens will be – all to ensure the best possible Master Plan.


Download the Master Plan

Phase 1A | Education Leads the Way

We’ve selected the Education building to be the first on the garden site, and will be named The Graeser Family Education Center. This early phase will also include the educational gardens around the center, the Evergreen Tapestry, a pollinator meadow, and certain pieces of the garden’s infrastructure. That approach will enable us to make smart, early investments and establish the first piece of the garden in a relatively short time.

Construction is currently underway, with a planned opening in 2019.

Donate now or become a sponsor to support the construction of the Graeser Family Education Center.

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Phase 1B | Outdoor Education Gardens

Phase 1B features the expansion of the plaza and development of the Education Gardens surrounding the Graeser Family Education Center. The gardens will include: the Edible Gardens and Water Wall; Native Gardens; and Pollinator Gardens.

This phase will also include a beautiful fountain with flowers central to the plaza and in view of the education center.

Phase 1C | The Garden Expansion

The planned focus of Phase 1C is an expansion that will include the Beargrass Creek Overlook, the Woodland Garden along the creek, the promenade’s Tree Allée and Outdoor Space, and three support buildings.

Phase 2A | Welcome

The Visitors Center, Entry Garden, and Water Filtration Garden are the primary features planned for Phase 2A.

Phase 2B | The Garden Grows

Phase 2B of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens includes several remaining major outdoor garden areas. In addition to the Children’s Garden and the Planted Trellis, this phase will also create the Palisades Garden, Secret Garden, Sensory Garden, and more.

Phase 3 | Conservatory

The final phase of our Master Plan will include the Japanese Gardens, Medicinal Meadow, and the garden’s Conservatory – what will surely become the crown jewel of the future gardens.