Meijer Gardens plans $115 million expansion

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is about to embark on a four-year long $115 million expansion that will add a rooftop garden, picnic pavilion, and larger amphitheater.

Parking will be expanded, a new welcome center and transportation center will be added.

The capital campaign is being called "Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love." The legacy is a reference to the establishment of the gardens by Fred and Lena Meijer and the continuing support of the Meijer family and other supporters and volunteers.

Since opening in 1995, Meijer Gardens has become a major attraction, bringing in visitors from around the world. Since initially opening with art and a conservatory, Meijer Gardens has added an outdoor sculpture park, one of only two full-size casts of a 24-foot tall horse sculpture inspired by a design by Leonardo da Vinci, a children's garden, a Japanese garden, an amphitheater for summer concerts, and more.

Attendance has soared from about 200,000 in 2000 to about 750,000 last year, said Meijer Gardens President and CEO David Hooker. He said the capital campaign depends on further donations.

The project is expect to take four years with these final additions:

  • Expansion and upgrade of the amphitheater
  • New Padnos Families Rooftop Sculpture Garden
  • New outdoor picnic pavilion
  • New LEED certified welcome center
  • New sculpture garden entry plaza
  • New LEED certified Covenant Learning Center
  • New Peter C. and Emajean Cook Transportation Center
  • Expanded Bissell, Inc., scenic corridor
  • Expanded parking

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