Multi-million dollar expansion planned for Waterfront Botanical Gardens

Many of the projects are expected to be finished in the next year or two and a lot of the timing depends on when they raise enough money.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Originally built on top of a landfill, Waterfront Botanical Gardens is no stranger to bringing back land to its former glory.

“We’ve built a new pathway to connect us to Beargrass Creek to show off the beauty of the creek. We’re re-greening the landfill,” said Kasey Maier who is the President of Waterfront Botanical Gardens.

They are adding to this project by buying the land across Frankfort Avenue. It’s considered a brownfield, which means it’s potentially contaminated. It was the spot of a former homeless camp. 

“It’s actually probably a few acres of trash. So that will be our first challenge, cleaning up that area, cleaning up the trash,” said Maier.

They’ll be turning that land into a parking lot, while also capping it off and making sure it’s safe. Right now, they’re in the middle of phase one and are constructing the botanical classrooms. Their next task is to complete the Japanese Garden before expanding onto the next phase.  

“Phase Two will be the children’s garden and visitor center over on Frankfort Avenue and Phase three will be the Conservatory which is a large glass building to hold tropical plants,” said Maier. 

The Conservatory is a 30,000 square foot building with 75-foot ceilings. 

“It’s pretty exciting to come and see the plants and trees and flowers that are blooming, but it’s also fun for people to come see the project that’s under construction,” said Maier. 

The entire expansion holds a $65 million dollar price tag. So far, the Waterfront Botanical Garden has raised $18 million dollars. This expansion is adding details to the 23-acre property. 

“A few gardens have been added and the buildings are more defined in what their footprint will be in the future,” said Maier.

While many of these projects are expected to be finished in the next year or two, a lot of the timing comes down the when they raise enough money. 

None of the money comes from taxpayer dollars.

The Waterfront Botanical Gardens are free to the public.

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