Spring will officially begin this year on Sunday, March 20, and the Huntsville Botanical Garden is gearing up for the season with some big changes.
At the Madison City Council meeting on February 22, Vice President of Operations at Huntsville Botanical Garden Kathy Gilder was officially presented with the organization’s annual appropriation. For 2016, the garden received $15,000 in public funds.
More than 113 million Americans will spend time in their own gardens this year, and while many U.S. cities have a botanical garden, the award-winning Huntsville Botanical Garden is considered to be world class. Recently, the review website TripAdvisor named the local destination one of the “Top Botanical Gardens in the U.S. Worth Traveling For.” And this March, the organization is undergoing major renovations to give visitors an even better experience.
“What some of our priorities were as we began this project were to create a clear sense of arrival so that when people came to the garden, that they know they had arrived to some place special,” according to the President and CEO of the garden, Paula Steigerwald.
The garden just started work on a new visitor center, with construction expected to last for the next several months. When completed, the new center will feature a venue for “special events and special occasions in people’s lives,” with a capacity for up to 350 people.
Lee Holland of Turner Construction, the company handling the project, said he expects work to be done by spring 2017 and that construction wouldn’t interfere with any annual events, like the popular Galaxy of Lights.
“It’s very exciting, both on a personal as well as a professional level. I’m a sixth generation Huntsville native, so getting to bring my son and family out here for years, but this is a legacy project,” Holland said.