All renderings and drawings provided by Christner and JCO are proposed and considered an artist’s rendering for conceptual purposes. Courtesy of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Just as many of the flowers and trees at the Missouri Botanical Garden are preparing for their annual fall transformation, a favorite destination for families visiting the garden is being prepared for transformation, as well. Garden officials have announced plans to close the Brookings Interpretive Center in late September for renovations.
When it reopens in spring 2016, the Brookings Interpretive Center will feature seven zones designed to help visitors connect with nature in a comfortable, accessible environment. Guests can discover the sounds of nature through a tree-trunk sound wall, watch educational presentations in a drop-in zone, explore the world beneath their feet in an area dedicated to roots, relax and play games in the Family Tree, learn about the garden in a digital theater, create in the Maker Space and study animals and insects in the Plant Studio. The renovated center will also include a new PlantLab, a greenhouse-inspired space where visitors can nurture their own green thumbs throughout the year.
The institute, which is located between the Climatron® and the Shoenberg Temperate House and adjacent to the Doris I. Schnuck Children’s Garden, was constructed in 1990 to house rainforest displays. When the display became outdated years later it was replaced with several popular temporary exhibits, including “TREEmendous,” “Foodology” and “Nature In Your Neighborhood.”
Though the center’s interactive, hands-on activities have made it a popular destination for hundreds of thousands of guests, the facility and its infrastructure are in need of updates. Plans for the renovated center also include accessible restrooms, a family restroom and a Calming Room that will provide a quiet space for parents and young children to rest.
During the renovations, the main entrance to the children’s garden will be closed. Through Nov. 1 the children’s garden may be accessed from the west gate near the restroom. Admission to the children’s garden will be free during this time. The Climatron and Temperate House will remain open throughout the renovations.
Renovations were made possible by a gift from Edward Jones. Visitors who would like to help shape plans for the new space may share their thoughts in an online survey at missouribotanicalgarden.org.
Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63110. Admission is $8 for adults ($4 for St. Louis City/County residents), free for children 12 and under, and $3 for St. Louis City/County seniors. Call 314-577-5100 for more information.