Why does Houston need a botanic garden?

Botanic gardens are enjoyed and valued as major cultural institutions and sources of civic pride in cities across the globe. As one of our nation’s largest cities, it is time for Houston to have a world-class garden to call its own.

Botanic gardens provide an understanding and appreciation for our natural world by educating visitors and inspiring them through beautiful plants and a restorative escape from the concrete jungle. From exotic collections and natural ecosystem gardens, to research and education programs, the Houston Botanic Garden hopes to teach guests about plant species, our diverse ecosystem, and the important role that plants play in our lives. We hope that through this natural, immersive learning experience, people will be encouraged to grow more of their own plants and take care of our precious environment.

Residents and visitors alike will find the Garden to be unlike anything else in Houston and we look forward to cultivating the Houston Botanic Garden into a premier destination for reflection, recreation, and education.

When will the Houston Botanic Garden be open to the public?

The Houston Botanic Garden is scheduled to open to the public in 2020.

What will happen between now and opening?

Much like any garden, ours will grow in seasons and evolve over time.

Rehabilitation of the soil on the Garden property has been underway for some time. The soil required to support the diverse trees and plants planned for the Garden needs to be different than what was used for the golf course green previously located on the site. Our horticulture team has been testing mowing schedules, recording invasive species, and monitoring the germination and growth of seeds on the Garden grounds. A native tree farm, grown in collaboration with Trees For Houston, is being tended to in an effort to reforest select areas of the Garden.

2019 will be a big year as some of the Garden’s defining features begin to take shape. Site recovery, grading, and similar efforts will continue to further prepare the grounds. The bridge from Park Place Boulevard, which will become the entry to the Garden when we open in 2020, will be constructed.

Plans for the 3-acre Susan Garver Family Discovery Garden include transforming an existing pond into a wonderland of aquatic and carnivorous plants and floating gardens - all bordered by forests and interspersed with natural play areas for running and exploring.

In 2020, we will see the installation of our Global Collection Garden, one of the Garden’s most dynamic collections, where visitors can stroll among colorful and curious plant species from far-off places, as well as some familiar enough to find in our own backyards. The Edible Garden, which celebrates the contribution plants make to our food and culture, will also begin to bloom. The Coastal Prairie Garden and Stormwater Wetlands Garden, our two natural ecosystems gardens, will also be developed. The Welcome Pavilion will be constructed and final touches will be made and we will celebrate the grand opening. To receive the latest news on construction updates and milestones, please subscribe to our newsletter.

How can I get involved?

This truly is Houston’s Garden, and we welcome the passion and energy of the Houston community. To bring the Garden to life and foster its ongoing growth, we look to our area residents for the generous support for which Houston is so well known for.

If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the volunteer interest form here. Whatever your talents may be, we have a place where you can make a difference - from administrative work in the office to garden prep, to assisting with our outreach programs and classes. We invite both individuals and groups to get involved!

If you are interested in making a donation, you may click here or contact our Development Team at info@hbg.org or 713-715-9675.

Can someone present about the Houston Botanic Garden to my group or organization?

We love sharing the vision for the future Garden! We are happy to speak with professional and private groups who want to learn more about our mission, what is happening next, and how they can get involved.

You can request a speaker presentation by completing the form found here. We do our best to accommodate requests.

How will the construction impact the local habitat?

One of HBG's goals is to restore habitats for birds and wildlife, while also educating guests on the value and need for conservation.

After decades as a golf course, the creation of Houston Botanic Garden is a remarkable opportunity to bring a more natural and vibrant ecosystem to this property. The growth of native trees and plants will serve as a welcome oasis for birds on the Central Flyway Migration Corridor, while at the same time providing an urban refuge for our resident species. Our hope is to attract a variety of bird species and pollinators to the Garden. We are excited to be partnering with Houston Audubon to conduct monthly bird counts to give us an idea of the number and diversity of species visiting the Garden.

While there may be some disruption during construction, the end result will be a natural and life-filled sanctuary in the heart of a major metropolitan center.

How will the Houston Botanic Garden support local flood mitigation efforts?

The bayous of Houston are one of the city’s most defining and revered features. One of these bayous, Sims Bayou, is effectively a part of Houston Botanic Garden, running alongside and through the property, enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape and providing valuable habitat for wildlife.

We are happy to report that Sims Bayou performed well during Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda, and there was no overbank flooding at the Houston Botanic Garden site as a result of either storm. Extensive efforts are being made to mitigate the potential for future flooding in the Garden and surrounding area during heavy rain events.

To that end, the Garden is aiming to increase water absorption through improved soil and the addition of water-loving prairie grasses and plants. The Stormwater Wetlands Garden is designed to aid in mitigation while serving as a functioning exhibit on green infrastructure and flood control.

How is the Houston Botanic Garden collaborating with other organizations?

Houston Botanic Garden values the encouragement, support, and expertise of numerous local organizations, including collaborations with such notable institutions as Houston Audubon, Houston Zoo, and Trees For Houston, among others.

Additionally, we have been exploring partnerships with research institutions, green groups, and other nonprofit organizations who understand and wish to contribute to our goals.

HBG looks forward to participating with other local organizations to complement meaningful work already underway.

How is the Houston Botanic Garden being funded?

The Houston Botanic Garden is a non-profit organization, supported through private philanthropy and donations from generous individuals, families, foundations, organizations, and businesses. HBG also receives many in-kind gifts and services.

What is the entrance fee to visit the Garden?

Entrance fees are still being finalized as we review and consider prices and promotions for other gardens across the country as well as similar attractions here in Houston.

An 11-acre portion of the Garden, including the Houston Botanic Garden’s Picnic Grove, Community Garden, and a portion of the Stormwater Wetlands Garden, will be free and open to the public for the experience and enjoyment of the amazing plants and ecosystems which surround us.

Is the Houston Botanic Garden available for private events?

The inherent natural beauty of the Garden and distinct spaces will offer unique and memorable venues for any event. From corporate retreats and workshops to elegant weddings and festive private parties, Houston Botanic Garden will offer large scale and intimate settings - and most anything in between - to accommodate your guests and event vision.

The Events Lawn will connect visitors from all walks of life by providing a vast array of programming and events, from concerts to film screenings, complemented by an open view overlooking the bayou and rich foliage. Other spaces within the Garden, like The Alcoves, will also be great spots for private events.

Will Park Place Boulevard be able to handle the increased number of vehicles?

The City of Houston determined that Park Place Boulevard, as a commercial/mixed-use avenue, would provide the best access and can handle the anticipated increase in traffic from Garden visitors. In connection with the lease to the Houston Botanic Garden, the City of Houston has also committed $1 million toward Park Place Boulevard improvements.

The City of Houston and the Houston Botanic Garden are also working closely with Garden neighbors - including nearby schools, churches, homes, and businesses - to address safety and traffic concerns.

Will we be able to use the pedestrian/cart bridges to cross over the bayou?

The Garden has partnered with the Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department to continue the Sims Bayou Greenway hike-and-bike trail across the existing bridge closest to I-45. When complete, the greenway will not be interrupted between I-45 and Old Galveston Road, and will include connections to Glenbrook Park. For more information, visit the Houston Parks Board web site.

Courtesy of Houston Parks Board.

Get in Touch

Houston Botanic Garden
8205 N. Bayou Drive
Houston, Texas 77017