Bellevue Botanical Garden to get $10 million upgrade
By CELINA KAREIVA
Bellevue Reporter Staff writer
March 8, 2013 · 2:18 PM
Bellevue Botanical Garden (BBG) will break ground on its new visitors center this May in response to growing community demand for the facilities.
The City Council on Monday OK’d the $10 million contract for the work.
“It’s going to allow improvements across the board for adult education, children’s education and enrich the visitor’s experience,” said Nancy Kartes of BBG.
The buildings will feature a total of 8,500 square feet, including a covered orientation space, meeting rooms, offices, a gift shop and restrooms. The expanded facilities also will include space for lectures and workshops much like Seattle’s Urban Horticulture Center.
Near the entrance, an interactive digital map will guide visitors. A new parking lot will double capacity within the same footprint and landscaping improvements will further the garden experience.
Kartes says that the parking lot will resemble a garden itself and a Sun Courtyard will link the new visitor’s center with the outdoor space. A Spring Courtyard, to serve as a focal point for the various gardens, will be enveloped by a Tapestry Hedge. The Shorts House, which is currently used as BBG’s visitors center, will be restored to its residential decor.
BBG still needs to raise one million for the project, but construction is otherwise on track.
BBG will remain open throughout. Entrance to the gardens will be temporarily shifted around the corner, to the Lake to Lake Trail, at the back of the Yao garden; parking will be contained to the Wilburton Hills park.Contact Bellevue Reporter Staff writer Celina Kareiva at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-453-4290.