Olbrich Gardens nearing final expansion design plans - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Olbrich Gardens nearing final expansion design plans

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Courtesy: Olbrich Courtesy: Olbrich

Olbrich Gardens has become a popular and growing Madison attraction. It pulls in student groups, couples getting married and of course nature lovers.

Now, with a dramatic increase in attendance, Olbrich is reporting a need for expansion.  Since the Botanical Center building and Bolz Conservatory at Olbrich Botanical Gardens opened in 1991, use has increased more than 300 percent.  Moving from 60,000 visitors a year in 1991 to approximately 250,000 today.

However, gardens staff say visitor and education facilities have not changed since 1991.  They say improvements are needed to keep pace with the demand for use.

Run as a public private partnership between the City of Madison parks division and the Olbrich Botanical Society, Olbrich has hired a design firm to draft new facility plans.

Olbrich Director Roberta Sladky stopped by Wake Up Wisconsin to talk about the process, what visitors might see at the sight and how Madison residents can voice their thoughts.  Click here for a look at design sketches.

There will be another stakeholder meeting at the gardens Monday April 22, where design plans will be refined.  On May 20th, a final design is expected.   

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