Excavation Experience

With exciting expansion projects underway, the Great Gardens Party planning committee wanted to offer the opportunity for someone to leave their mark on Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This idea developed into the “Help Build Meijer Gardens – Literally” experience, allowing one auction winner to learn how to drive a bulldozer and assist with excavation in the new Welcome Center area.

The package was purchased by Meg Goebel, a Meijer Gardens Board Member and longtime supporter. On the night of the auction, Meg was beaming with excitement from winning this package.

This experience would not have been possible without the generous support of Dean Wall of Dean’s Landscaping and Excavating. He made this a once-in-a-lifetime experience by setting up multiple pieces of equipment and providing step-by-step, hands-on instruction. Dean’s love of his work (and of Meijer Gardens) was apparent through his enthusiasm and big smile.

Dean’s smile was only rivaled by Meg’s. Meg learned how to use the bulldozer and moved quite a bit of dirt around to make space for the new Welcome Center. She alternated between moments of intense focus and pure enjoyment. Henceforth, Meg will always be able to look at the new Welcome Center and remember that day in July 2019 when she helped to build Meijer Gardens – literally!

The excavation was followed by a dinner, al fresco, on the Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden. The meal was prepared by the Meijer Gardens Hospitality Team. For information on booking your next event on the beautiful Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden, please contact Meijer Gardens Hospitality at 616-975-3146.