The Atlanta Botanical Garden has been awarded a $2.5 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation for the development of Smithgall Woodland Garden in Gainesville, Georgia. The gift helps the Midtown Atlanta Garden near its $21 million goal for building the first phase of the 168-acre woodland garden off Cleveland Highway.
“We are thrilled and honored by the Woodruff Foundation gift, which will get us that much closer to turning this long-held dream into a reality,” said Mary Pat Matheson, executive director of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. “Smithgall Woodland Garden will enable the Atlanta Botanical Garden to evolve to the next level, reaching people across the state and expanding our vital plant conservation programs.”
The gift is contingent upon the Garden raising the additional $1.1 million of its first-phase goal by June 2013. Groundbreaking is set for late summer with opening planned for fall 2013.
Smithgall Woodland Garden will be developed on land donated to the botanical garden in 2002 by Gainesville residents Lessie Smithgall and her late husband Charles Smithgall.
The first phase will include a serpentine and wooded entry road, visitor center, a 2,000-seat amphitheater and about five acres of display gardens, while a second phase will feature a children’s garden. The site also will enable the botanical garden to expand its native plant conservation program with a new conservation nursery and a student training and education center.
The Garden recently received a similar gift from Doug and Kay Ivester, in whose honor the new amphitheater and visitor center will be named. The Gainesville residents made the generous commitment in an effort to expand the cultural vibrancy of the community.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Avenue NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: 404.876.5859 (Media extension 1550)
Email: General information: [email protected]