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Bringing joy to the lives of nearly 15 million guests since 1995

About

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park promotes the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment, and the arts. Meijer Gardens is a charitable 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit cultural organization with a Board of Directors overseeing the successful operation of the organization.

History

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park opened in April 1995 after 13 years of planning and fundraising by the West Michigan Horticultural Society. In 1990, Fred & Lena Meijer were asked by Betsy Borre for their support, and they embraced the concept of a major cultural attraction centering around horticulture & sculpture. The original vision has turned into a top cultural destination in the Midwest, known internationally for the quality of the art and gardens.

Meijer Gardens’ commitment is to create a legacy of lifelong learning, enjoyment and a rich cultural experience for generations to come. It is a non-profit organization, privately funded by grants, foundations and individual and corporate gifts. The organization is operated by almost 200 full and part-time staff, more than 850 active volunteers and supported by gifts from more than 29,000 member households and hundreds of donors.

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Art

#1 sculpture park in america

The USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards is a highly esteemed platform celebrating the best attractions, destinations and experiences across the U.S. After a rigorous selection process—involving a panel of experts and weeks of voting from the public—Meijer Gardens emerged victorious, surpassing renowned sculpture parks from all over the country.

Culture

750,000 annual visitors

Beyond art and nature, Meijer Gardens plays host to vast array of West Michigan cultural events. With an amphitheater that brings music lovers the finest local, regional, national and international touring acts, multiple wedding venues and yearly curated exhibitions, there’s something for everyone at Meijer Gardens.

Nature

#2 Botanical Garden in America

Combining art and nature, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a true marvel. Boasting an impressive outdoor sculpture collection, including works by renowned artists, this garden offers a unique blend of horticulture and artistic expression.

Fact Sheet

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, located at 1000 East Beltline NE in Grand Rapids, MI, opened to the public in April of 1995. One of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, Meijer Gardens includes Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; five indoor theme gardens; outdoor gardens, nature trails and boardwalk; sculpture galleries and permanent sculpture collection; library; café; gift shop; education center and meeting rooms. Both indoors and outdoors, the 158-acre main campus is barrier free and handicap accessible. Our building upgrades and expansion projects have been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status by the USGBC (U.S Green Building Council). Since it opened, Meijer Gardens has attracted more than fourteen million visitors.

The Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory is a five-story, 15,000 square-foot facility featuring rock landscapes, a waterfall and a variety of exotic plant selections. The conservatory houses tropical plants from around the world, including fig trees from India, exotic orchids from Central and South America, Asiatic bamboo and banana plants. Additional indoor gardens include the Kenneth E. Nelson Carnivorous Plant HouseEarl and Donnalee Holton Arid Garden (featuring Saguaro cacti), the Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden, and the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse.

The outdoor gardens feature four-season plantings that can be enjoyed throughout the year. To foster an educational awareness of the numerous ecosystems in West Michigan, the Wege Nature Trail winds through a forested section while the Frey Boardwalk introduces visitors to the natural wetlands. Featured on these walks are bird watching sites, a tadpole pond and vistas of woodlands and wetlands. From watching the snow fall to the leaves changing color, these areas are perfect for experiencing Michigan’s changing landscapes.

The Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden commemorates the artistic influence of this well-known naturalist artist and features woodland plants like ferns, hostas, bleeding hearts, rhododendrons and azaleas. The recently expanded and reimagined Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall English Perennial Garden and Volunteer Tribute Garden are two additional outdoor features highlighting the organization’s continuing commitment to horticulture.

The sculpture program at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is composed of both an internationally-acclaimed permanent collection and dynamic exhibition programs. The permanent collection features nearly 300 works, including important examples ranging from Auguste Rodin and Edgar Degas, to Henry Moore and Alexander Calder to Louise Bourgeois and Richard Serra. Works are sited in both interior settings as well as featured outdoors across the gardens and grounds. The greatest concentration of work is featured in the 30-acre sculpture park, which plays host to both colossal and more traditional scale works uniquely sited in a natural environment. Of special interest are recent acquisitions by Ai Weiwei, Lee Ufan, Yinka Shonibare CBE and El Anatsui. Learn more about the Sculpture Park »

In addition, Meijer Gardens hosts rotating temporary sculpture exhibitions every year. A suite of indoor galleries are currently undergoing expansion. Major presentations of artists ranging from Magdalena Abakanowicz to George Segal, Dale Chihuly to Rebecca Louise Law have captured widespread critical acclaim. Many temporary exhibitions have included outdoor installations. Our sculpture galleries have recently been reimagined as part of our Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love expansion project.

The Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden is the most recent major garden addition to Meijer Gardens, which opened in June 2015. The eight-acre project, designed by Hoichi Kurisu, features traditional components such as waterfalls, elevation changes, extensive boulder placement, authentic Japanese structures and a functioning teahouse. The Japanese garden, located in the middle of the 158-acre campus, embraces the essence of traditional Japanese gardens—tranquility, contemplation and beauty while incorporating contemporary sculpture by international artists. The design effectively uses space to highlight contrasts between still and rushing water, between quietly intimate spaces and expansive open spaces, and between manicured and natural areas.

The Lena Meijer Children’s Garden is one of the largest interactive children’s gardens in the country. Here children can look through viewing ports to answer questions about sculpture, dig into the sand quarry to uncover information about fossils and sail through the Great Lakes at the Great Lakes Garden water feature. They can explore tree houses, a log cabin, a butterfly labyrinth, a sense garden and a child-sized beaver lodge. Highlighting hundreds of plants as well as whimsical, child-oriented sculptures, it also features natural wetlands running through the middle of it.

The farmhouse, barn, gardens and animal pens located within Michigan’s Farm Garden are reminders of a 1930s family farm where the land supplied the family with groceries and income, a time when every family member helped with chores. The farmhouse is a three–quarters scale model of Lena (Rader) Meijer’s childhood home. Farm animals are represented by bronze sculptures throughout this beloved garden. See the various vegetable gardens and flower beds dedicated to heirloom varieties behind the farmhouse. Some of the produce grown here ends up in the delicious food served in the James & Shirley Balk Café. This delightful setting also includes an orchard, a sugar shack, a produce stand, a windmill and a replica outhouse.

The Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater is a distinguished venue for the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concert Series and other entertainment events each year. The outdoor amphitheater boasts brilliant acoustics and tiered lawn seating for 1,900 people. Artists who have been featured on the Amphitheater stage include Bonnie Raitt, Steve Miller Band, B.B. King, Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson.

The Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming is an annual butterfly exhibition that takes place every March and April, featuring nearly 7,000 tropical butterflies from more than 50 species of South American, Central American, African and Asian origin that fly free in the five-story, 15,000 square foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. This is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the nation and attracts more than 180,000 visitors during the months of March and April.

Chrysanthemums & More! features expansive chrysanthemum displays, fall foliage and fun activities. Indoors, the Grace Jarecki Seasonal Display Greenhouse features a cascading chrysanthemum-covered wall as the main focal point. Presentations of chrysanthemum spheres, large disbuds and beds of colorful planting complement this display in the nearby Earl and Donnalee Holton Victorian Garden Parlor. Outdoors, expansive beds of lush chrysanthemums are arranged in large sweeps of scarlet, purple, orange and gold. Tuesdays at the Farm, Giant Pumpkins, Hallowee-Ones and other fall-themed activities full of family fun are available during this exhibition.

University of Michigan Health–West: Christmas & Holiday Traditions is a celebration that takes place every November through early January. Featuring 46 different cultures and customs from around the world, trees and displays both indoors and out, more than 300,000 Christmas lights, visits from Santa and educational activities to coincide with the exhibition. The Railway Garden expands through three lush indoor gardens with a model train traveling past glittering lights and over high trestles. Within the garden are buildings modeled after landmarks in Grand Rapids and our Sister Cities around the world, all handmade out of natural materials.

Organizational Mission

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park promotes the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment, and the arts.

Partners

Meijer Gardens is a proud recipient of Operational Support and Capital Improvement funding from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council including federal support through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). As a grantee, Meijer Gardens advances our mission to promote the enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of gardens, sculpture, the natural environment, and the arts. To see a full list of all our generous corporate partners, please visit this link.

Meijer Gardens is an American Conifer Society Reference Garden. The American Conifer Society promotes the use of conifers in gardens and landscapes and educates the public about their care and conservation.

Corporate Partners

Absopure Water
American Plastic Toys, Inc.
Aquinas College
Bartlett Tree Experts Co.
Betz Industries
BHS Insurance
Cascade Engineering
Corporate Live
Custer, Inc.
Deloitte
DJ’s Landscape Management
DK Security
DTE Energy Foundation
Excel Electric, Inc.
FASTSIGNS of Grand Rapids
Fifth Third Bank
Foremost Graphics Group
Fox17
Gerald R. Ford International Airport
Grand Valley State University
Harvey Lexus of Grand Rapids
Hilbrands Landscape Management, Inc.
iHeartMedia West Michigan / Star 105.7
Insignia Homes
Lacks Enterprises, Inc.
Landscape Design Services, Inc.
Legacy Trust
Macatawa Bank
Meijer, Inc.
Miller Johnson Attorneys
Northland Express Transport
Northpointe Bank
Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
Pioneer Construction, Inc.
RDV Corporation
Reliable Energy, Inc.
SoundOff Signal
Spectrum Health
Steelcase Inc.
Townsquare Media
University of Michigan Health – West
US Golf Cars, Inc.
Velo Law Office
W.A. Lettinga Investment
Warner Norcross + Judd
Wolverine Worldwide Foundation
WOOD TV8

Charity Navigator
Guide Star Platinum

Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is America’s premier independent charity evaluator. They help charitable givers make intelligent giving decisions by providing in-depth, objective ratings and analysis of the financial health, accountability and transparency of America’s largest charities. Charity Navigator awarded Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park four out of a possible four stars. This indicates that we adhere to good governance and other best practices that minimize the chance of unethical activities and consistently execute our mission in a fiscally responsible way. Learn more about our four-star rating.

Accessibility Statement

Accessible For All

Indoor and outdoor spaces are barrier-free, with ramps, elevators and paved pathways to accommodate wheelchairs, scooters and strollers and allow easy maneuverability. Courtesy wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) are available for use on a first-come, first-served basis. Although pets are prohibited, certified service dogs are welcome.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility, and Belonging

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is committed to fostering an environment of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging through honest, intentional, consistent growth. This is driven by education, partnership, policy and support. Promoting respect, empathy and a willingness to understand others is essential to creating a rewarding environment for everyone to enjoy.

Fred and Lena Meijer were pioneers in advancing issues of inclusion and equity before the terms of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging were commonly used. Progressing toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and belonging is a never-ending journey.

Meijer Gardens embraces the journey and continually strives to create an exceptional and inclusive guest, donor, member, volunteer, vendor and employee experience. Meijer Gardens is committed to being an innovator and a leader in advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging, to better honor our mission.

2023 Economic Impact Statement

Key Staff Listing

Careers

If you are interested in working for one of West Michigan’s premier cultural institutions and a highly-motivated team, view a full list of job opportunities. We offer full-time, part-time, as well as seasonal and internship positions.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

HOURS

Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Monday 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday 9 am - 9 pm
Wednesday 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday 9 am - 5 pm
Friday 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday 9 am - 5 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE

CONTACT US

scheduled grounds maintenance

On Tuesday, April 16, the Treehouse Village and Woodland Boardwalk in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden and the Gwen Frostic Woodland Shade Garden will be closed due to tree removal for the safety of our guests. Thank you for your understanding. 

Garden closures

Please note: The Harvey Lemmen Sculpture Gallery in the Sculpture Park will be closed May 20-21 for scheduled tree work. Thank you for your understanding.

Spring Break Hours

Extended Hours

Enjoy extended spring break hours until 9 pm on April 1-5.

Extended Member Early Hours

Each Sunday from 9-11 am during Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming and Saturday, April 6, from 8-9 am. 

HOURS

Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday 9:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

RATES

Members (with ID) FREE
Adults (14-64) $20.00
Seniors (65 and older) $15.00
Students (with student ID) $15.00
Museums for All $2.00
Children (3-13) $10
Children (2 and younger) FREE