Green Bay Botanical Garden

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Location of the gardens
Location of the Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Source: [://www.google.com/maps/place/2600+Larsen+Rd,+Green+Bay,+WI+54303/@44.5311197,-88.1035011,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8802f9fcd1665385:0x69f458bc507097e5!8m2!3d44.531701!4d-88.0995099?hl=en-US

Located in Green Bay, WI near the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, The Green Bay Botanical Gardens spans over 47 acres with 23.5 acres currently being used as garden space. [1] The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful, serene place to visit as well as a family friendly atmosphere perfect for people of all ages. With an entrance fee ranging from free to $9, the gardens are an inexpensive way to spend a nice afternoon in nature. [2]The ideological basis of the gardens was to create a safe, beautiful place where people can come together and enjoy a variety of natural things this world must offer, while learning a thing or two along the way. [3]

History

In the beginning, the Gardens were merely an idea that a few local citizens had, however, it quickly grew into a local phenomenon. In 1996, the gardens first opened its gates up to the public, however, its history starts years before that.[4]. It began in 1978 when Paul Hartman, a horticulture agent of Green Bay at the time, formed the Plants in Urban Environment group or PUE. Hartman and local landscape architect, Bob Mongin, as well as PUE, formed the initial ideas of creating a local space where residence could come and interact with nature in new ways. [5] From there, the set out to find the best area for the gardens, they traveled the state and by 1979, the group had limited their site options down to three different locations. While searching, they noticed a large stretch of land near the local technical college and decided to give them a call. In 1992, after some debate and a huge deal of fundraising efforts, a 30 acre, 99 year lease with NWTC was negotiated and soon after, they dug their first hole.[6] David Buettner and associates was hired onto the team to help with the planning and development of the gardens, however, much of the work was actually done by volunteers. [7] The building of the gardens themselves started out with a few volunteers who camped on the grounds year-round and quickly evolved into hundreds of people as word spread across the state. Currently, the Gardens has over 600 volunteers and 3000 members who all contribute to the growth and wellbeing of the gardens. [8] With over a dozen different gardens and a plethora of events happening year round, the gardens has become a local success.

Learning Opportunities

The main goal of those who run the Green Bay Botanical Gardens is to connect people with nature. With a wide range of programs ranging from adult classes to school field trips and outreach programs, they have something for everyone. Adult classes offered include cooking, crafts and horticulture, all which give people the chance to interact with their world around them fun, new ways.[9] The children’s programs are even more educationally friendly. Having served over 6000 youth and counting, the Botanical Gardens is making great headway into changing the future of this planet. During the learning sessions, kids get to interact with nature in new ways and draw connections between nature and their own lives. This is done through a variety of hands on activities which get the children up close and personal into the processes of pollination, the importance of insects and where food comes from. [10] One employee, Jan says, "It’s a great way to get children outside, which lays the foundation for a life where nature plays a greater role." [11] This is important because the youth of today will one day be shaping the future, so if it is possible to implant in them values related to taking care of the Earth then there is insurance for a better tomorrow for all.

Events

The Green Bay Botanical Gardens has a variety of events throughout the year which draw in visitors from all over the world. All events sponsored by the Green Bay Botanical Gardens promote learning and having fun in a nature setting. Some events they have held over the years include:

  • Pokemon Lure Drops
  • May Day Afternoon High Tea
  • Mother's Day and Father’s Day Events
  • Sanimax Concerts
  • The BMO Harris Bank getaway

There are also two larger events that receive large amounts of attention each year. These are the WPS Garden of Lights and the Garden Fair.

WPS Garden of Lights

The caterpillar, as pictured above, is 60 feet in length and is the main focal point of the WPS Garden of Lights.
The caterpillar, as pictured above, is 60 feet in length and is the main focal point of the WPS Garden of Lights. Source: [1]

Every winter around the holiday season, the gardens, in partnership with Wisconsin Public Service, hosts the WPS Garden of Lights.[12] The WPS Garden of lights features over a quarter of a million twinkling lights each year set up in extravagant displays which depict both nature scenes and holiday scenes that a sure to get everyone into the holiday spirit. [13] The 60 foot caterpillar the gardens create every year is the display that characterizes this event.

Garden Fair

The Garden Fair is an event held at the gardens typically in the beginning of June. [14]This event is used to kick-off the summer season and get people excited about gardening again. This event offers people the chance to bring gardens to their own homes as they have over 100 different garden vendors selling plants and any other supplies needed for gardening. [15] People also get the chance to take a look at the newest plants the garden has planted each year.

References

  1. [Garden Visit. "Green Bay Botanical Garden." Garden Visit. Last modified 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://www.gardenvisit.com/gardens/green_bay_botanical_garden.
  2. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  3. "Green Bay Botanical Garden's History." Video file, 4:32. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden, December 2, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TOk2ZCkHTg.
  4. "Green Bay Botanical Garden's History." Video file, 4:32. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden, December 2, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TOk2ZCkHTg.
  5. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  6. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  7. "Green Bay Botanical Garden's History." Video file, 4:32. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden, December 2, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TOk2ZCkHTg.
  8. "Green Bay Botanical Garden's History." Video file, 4:32. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden, December 2, 2014. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TOk2ZCkHTg.
  9. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  10. "Children and Family Education Programs." Video file, 3:38. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden, September 23, 2016. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLx4sMFjVtQ.
  11. "Children and Family Education Programs." Video file, 3:38. YouTube. Posted by GB Botanical Garden,September 23, 2016. Accessed April 27, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLx4sMFjVtQ.
  12. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  13. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  14. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed April 27, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.
  15. GB Botanical Garden. "Green Bay Botanical Gardens." Green Bay Botanical Gardens. Last modified 2017. Accessed May 2, 2017. http://www.gbbg.org/.

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