The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden (14 acres / 5.7 hectares) (known as the Des Moines Botanical Center until 2013) is a botanical garden located in Des Moines, Iowa, United States, on the east bank of the Des Moines River.
Interest in a Des Moines botanical center began in 1929. A city greenhouse was acquired on the west side of the river in 1939, which served the city as a production and display greenhouse until the Botanical Center was completed in 1979. From 2004 to December 31, 2012, the facility was operated on behalf of the city by Des Moines Water Works. On January 2, 2013, the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden opened the doors for the first time as a nonprofit organization under the leadership of President and CEO Stephanie Jutila and governance of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden Board of Directors. The institution is currently undergoing a dynamic renewal funded by a successful capital campaign to raise $12.6 million for the Phase I expansion of the outdoor gardens and improvements to the existing conservatory and building.
The conservatory features over a 1,200 different taxa from around the world in artistic settings designed to explore, explain and celebrate the majesty of the plant world. Future outdoor gardens, designed by Chicago-based landscape architect Doug Hoerr will include a new rose garden, entrance garden, nearly 0.5-acre water garden, maple allée, belvedere overlooking the Des Moines River, celebration lawn and walled perennial border, conifer and gravel garden, a hillside garden, and an annual and bulb parterre. These gardens reflect the institution's commitment to developing gardens as forms of public art. The gardens will feature rich annual color designs conceived around artistic concepts inspired from music, history, art and pop culture, utilizing plants as the ingredients for exhibitions.
From the 1986 until the mid 2000s, the Botanical Center was a used as a Do It Yourself venue for the Des Moines Underground, Punk and Hardcore Music scene. Countless national touring acts such as Henry Rollins, Scream, Saint Vitus, Regional and Local bands played shows for all ages in the rental halls there. Often these bands and their fans had no other venue open to them in the area and for that reason the Botanical Center provided a much needed space for the music scene.
The dome is constructed of 665 plexiglass panels according to a contest on the WHO Radio: Van & Bonnie morning show on June 21, 2011.
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