Visit The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park

Visitor Center

We’re open for the 2017 season and look forward to seeing you!


Let us show you the Garden and share its story – it’s free!

Artist of the Month

Now on display in the upper level of the Visitor Center



Upon your visit to The Botanic Garden, you will be welcomed by our Visitor Center. This beautiful building was once the Traverse City State Hospital’s Granary, built around 1886. Come inside to see the original stone walls and tunnel that originally connected the farm’s root cellar to the Granary’s lower level.

The Visitor Center’s lower level includes a gift shop, information desk, restrooms and drinking fountains. In our display area, we feature a special artist of the month. Upstairs, on the second floor, is a classroom/meeting room where most of The Botanic Garden classes and workshops are held. This bright and beautiful room is also available for rental year-round for your special event.

Because environmental sustainability is a guiding principle of The Botanic Garden, many components of the renovation were designed for LEED certification. Energy saving lighting, heating & cooling and water conservation systems were incorporated. The Visitor Center’s V-shaped roof collects and stores rainwater for garden irrigation. Recycled materials were utilized wherever possible, including wood paneling from Manistee’s Vogue Theater. Even old cast iron cow water buckets from the adjoining barn now serve as lighting fixtures in the classroom!


The Visitor Center is now open for the 2017 season!

Our hours are Monday through Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Sunday from Noon to 5:00pm.

Visitor Center: Spring
Visitor Center: Fall
Visitor Center: Summer
Visitor Center: Winter



Let us take you on a Botanic Garden tour – it’s free! We love to show off the Garden and share the transformative story of this historic park. Our Garden team looks forward to meeting and visiting with folks from all over America – and all over the world!

Botanic Garden Tours

Our Botanic Garden Tours include guided exploration of areas like our Visitor Center, Pavilion, Walled Garden, several Garden areas (some that are currently works in progress), the Historic Barns, and more. Tours last approximately 45 minutes-1 hour (it depends on the Docent and the group interaction!) The Tours involve walking and we do have a golf cart available for those who may need some extra support.

Our Guided Tours are scheduled to begin Monday-Saturday at 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm and Sundays at 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm.

If you’d like to reserve a specific time for your group, please complete the form here on our website or call ahead to our Visitor Center at (231) 935-4077. Reservations are not required.

There is no cost for tours but donations are kindly requested. We have Membership sign-ups and renewals available on-site, as well as a Donation jar in the Gift Shop.

Our Guided Tours are scheduled to begin Monday-Saturday at 9:30am, 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm and Sundays at 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm.

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A R T I S T   O F

T H E   M O N T H


Beth Bynum

Join us at The Botanic Garden for an Open House Reception on Friday, May 12th from 5-7pm to meet and celebrate our May Artists of the Month, Margaret Weeks & Ann George. Enjoy the art on display, beverages, hors d’oeuvres and wonderful company! An RSVP ticket is not required to attend this event.

Eventbrite - Artist of the Month Reception: Margaret Weeks & Ann George

About Margaret:
Margaret Weeks is a teaching artist living in Leelanau County. Since the early 80’s, Margaret has shared her passion for the arts with students of all ages in a wide variety of venues. Most recently she teaches children’s art classes for the Glen Arbor Art Association and will join the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp faculty for her eighth season this June.

Margaret studied art education at Northern Illinois University and obtained her master’s degree in art education at Winthrop University in South Carolina. A graduate school painting trip to France inspired her to pursue watercolor painting. Margaret’s art portrays the natural world, painting landscapes with color, texture, and light. The reflective quality of watercolors, along with Margaret’s spontaneous approach, capture her visions of nature.

Family, food, and nature are integral parts of Margaret’s life on her family farm, La Casa Verde in Cedar, Michigan. She has three grown children, a supportive husband, two German shepherds, and two cats. During the growing season, flowers become Margaret’s artistry, and she arranges bouquets to sell at the local farmers’ markets.

About Ann:
Ann George’s love of art has blossomed into practice since her retirement from teaching in the Communications Department at Northwestern Michigan College. A childhood on the shores of Lake Ontario and in the Adirondack woods imprinted a love of water and natural surroundings that is expressed in her images.

Work as a systems analyst and her graduate degree in adult language skills and learning strategies encouraged her to explore art’s way of explaining the world. Watercolor seemed like the obvious medium to begin with, although she has recently ventured into pastel and acrylic.

Ann comes from a long line of gardeners and keeps that tradition alive growing old roses, native plants and fresh vegetables – which also become subjects for painting. She and her wonderfully supportive writer husband live outside Lake Ann with their cat, but spend much of their time in or near rivers, fishing, listening to singing birds and waters, and trying to capture those sensations in their chosen mediums.

The work of the Artist of the Month is on display in the upper level of the Visitor Center at the Botanic Garden from April – October. Please check in with the Gift Shop on the lower level for more details on viewing the artwork. Visitor Center hours are Monday – Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday from noon to 5 PM.

Questions about visiting the Garden?

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1490 Red Dr
Traverse City, Michigan

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(231) 935-4077