Explore The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park
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. On the second floor, above the gift shop, is the Three Seasons Gallery open from April through October where we feature local artists who display and sell their two dimensional art. Upstairs, the second floor, is also 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!
Interested in renting the Visitor Center as a space for your next personal or professional event? Click here to learn more!
The Visitor Center is open April – October, 2023. Our grounds are always open to the public!
Gift Shop & Visitor Center Hours:
Monday – 10am-5pm
Tuesday – 10am-5pm
Wednesday – 10am-5pm
Thursday – 10am-5pm
Friday – 10am-5pm
Saturday – 10am-5pm
Sunday – Closed
We can’t wait to see you!
There is no charge for admission, however donations are always appreciated.
Call us at (231) 935-4077 to schedule a docent-led tour of the garden, or with any questions.
The self-guided audio tour is available any time.
We offer guided tours of The Garden from April through October. The Visitor Center is open April 1st – October 31st.
The grounds are always open to the public!
There is a self-guided audio tour available year-round. Pick up a map in front of the Visitor Center any time to take a self-guided tour at your own pace.
Our Botanic Garden Tours are guided explorations of our property’s unique past, present and future. Visitors are introduced to areas like our Visitor Center, Pavilion, multiple garden spaces (some that are currently works in progress), the Historic Barns, and more.
Please call us at (231) 935-4077 to schedule a docent-led tour.
THREE SEASONS ART SHOW
The Visitor Center is open from April – October. We exhibit art from featured artists on the upper level, above the gift shop. Works of art by featured artists are on display and for sale. Please keep reading to learn more about the artists currently featured in the Visitor Center.
2023 Fall Session – Artist Information
Andrea Thompson (Traverse City, Michigan)
Andrea is a local artist and her recent retirement from education allows her more time to explore this incredible area. She finds inspiration from the outdoors and her love of nature. Nature provides a stunning array of colors, textures, and emotions, and as she creates artwork, she tries to depict all of these. Her joy comes from experimenting with different techniques, tools, and surfaces to achieve the effect that she is striving to create. Andrea participates in juried art shows and in 2022, was honored to be a participant in ArtPrize.
Melissa Smith (Northern Michigan)
Melissa is a watercolor, gouaches, and acrylic artist residing in beautiful Northern Michigan. She loves using layers and colors in her work to develop thought and feeling. She typically works on several pieces about a similar subject at the same time. This allows her to explore varied mediums, brush strokes, and palettes. Her work is usually related to water, the landscape, or botanicals. She loves the how art connects us to one another in ways that transcend language, culture, and time. Melissa pours out her heart and soul onto the canvas. Another human soul gazes at it and it touches something personal in their heart. It is a thread that holds us together.