Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary

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United States of America - Minnesota - Minneapolis

Institution Code: MEBWG

BGCI Member: No

About the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary

When visitors step behind the rustic gates at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, they quickly forget they’re in the middle of the city. A meandering trail takes visitors deep into nature’s wonderland, the quiet accented with the sounds of birds, insects, frogs and wind in the trees.

The 15-acre garden is the oldest public wildflower garden in the nation. Its legacy dates back to 1907 when Minneapolis botanist Eloise Butler and botany teachers successfully petitioned the Minneapolis Park Board to create a natural botanic garden to preserve native flora as the city grew. Three acres of bog, meadow and hillside were properly fenced and the Wild Botanic Garden opened April 27, 1907.

The Garden is home to over 500 plant species and 140 bird species. It provides 60,000 visitors annually with spectacular seasonal displays of native wildflowers in woodland, wetland and prairie areas. Each area creates a different habitat that fosters different types of plants, animals and birds.

The 2/3-mile trail* features 49 interpretive stations for guided and self-guided tours. Nestled in the garden is the Martha Crone Visitor’s Shelter where you will find natural history displays, natural history reference materials and friendly staff and volunteers waiting to help with Garden-related questions.

Located in Theodore Wirth Regional Park, the Garden was founded by Minneapolis botanist and school teacher Eloise Butler. She and other botany teachers successfully petitioned the Minneapolis Park Board to create a natural botanic garden to preserve native flora as the city grew.

The Garden is open daily April 1-Oct. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to one hour before sunset.

Main Address:
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary
Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Theodore Wirth Parkway and Glenwood Avenue
Minnesota 55415 United States of America

Telephone: (612) 370-4903
URL: www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=4&parkid=340
Primary Email: swilkins@minneapolisparks.org

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: N/A
    Curator's Name: Susan Wilkins, Garden Curator
    Plant Records Officer's Name: N/A

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Municipal: Yes
  • Date founded: 1907
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 5 Hectares
  • Total Area: 5 Hectares
    Latitude: 44.9772420
    Longitude: -93.3261570
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: No
  • Number of Visitors: 60000
    Number of Volunteers: 100

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 550
  • Special Collections:Asclepiadaceae, Betulaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Compositae, Cruciferae, Gramineae, Labiateae, Leguminosae, Liliaceae, Pinaceae, Polypodiaceae, Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Salicaceae, Saxifragaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Acer (7 spp., 7 taxa), Aster

Conservation Programmes

Research Programmes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes