New Youth Education and Tropical Plants Glasshouse to be Built at Memphis Botanic Garden

The Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) announced that its Board of Directors has approved moving forward with a new Youth Education and Tropical Plants Glasshouse. This will be the second project (of four) undertaken as part of the Garden’s $5M Rooted at Park and Cherry capital campaign. “Our fundraising efforts have now surpassed 67% of our $5M goal, giving us the confidence to move forward on this next project,” said Michael D. Allen, Executive Director of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Construction of this 3,400 square foot building, with a $2.2M budget will begin in April and will be located directly along Cherry Road just west of the Canale Rose Garden. It is scheduled to open to the public in the spring of 2024.

Other components of this project include an outdoor classroom, horticultural prep house, and a large event patio. The primary goal of this project is to significantly expand the Garden’s youth education efforts while providing a new, accessible, home for its tropical plants collection. “Today we work with about 40,000 school children annually from across the Memphis metropolitan area, and we hope to grow this by 30% to 52,000 kids in the years to come,” said Allen.

Daniel Grose, Director of Horticulture for MBG, said, “Entering our new tropical house will be like stepping into a different world! Several in fact, with plants from South America, Africa, Asia, and beyond. It will be lush, colorful, and vibrant with big leafed tropicals, ferns, rare orchids, fruit trees, and more. A truly unique experience for our guests!”

“This new glasshouse will be an exciting addition to the Memphis architectural landscape. It will be easily seen by passersby on Cherry Road, especially at night, as we employ a colorful lighting system to tastefully illuminate the structure in a constantly evolving rainbow of colors to celebrate holidays, local sports teams, and other special events. Additionally, the interior of the glasshouse will be illuminated at night for special events like our annual Holiday Wonders at the Garden light show and proposed new seasonal displays featuring Poinsettias, Amaryllis, Orchids and more,” Allen concluded.

The Memphis Botanic Garden has partnered with Prospiant Greenhouse Manufacturing and Design (Cincinnati, OH), Fleming Architects (Memphis), Dalhoff Thomas Design Studio (Memphis), and Grinder Taber Grinder – General Contractors (Memphis) on this project.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to being an exemplary center for horticulture and environmental enrichment. Serving over 40,000 school-aged children annually, and hosting 260,000 visitors each year, Memphis Botanic Garden strives to enhance lives by connecting people with nature, increasing awareness and appreciation of our environment.

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