Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, which closed in March due to the effects of Covid-19, will reopen to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Aug. 22. Advance, timed tickets are required.
Since May 28 the Garden has been open to members only Thursday through Sunday and that scheduled continues. The Garden has been operating with limited staff since closing to the public, but after more than two months of serving its members the Garden’s leadership believes it’s time for the next phase of reopening.
Like many businesses and attractions, the Garden shut its doors to the public voluntarily in mid-March before government restrictions mandated only essential businesses operate. When the State of North Carolina began its phased reopening plan, the Garden develop its plan to gradually restart its operations.
“Now that we see we can operate safely and responsibly, it’s time to admit more people,” said Interim Executive Director Jim Hoffman. “We’ve implemented various protocols to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. It’s become a new normal for us and our members, so we’re confident we can welcome more people to enjoy the benefits of being in nature and in a garden.”
In order to manage crowds, garden officials ask that members reserve a ticket at dsbg.org prior to leaving home to assure they can be admitted. Tickets are also on sale to the general public on the Garden’s website. The Garden is admitting a limited number of people every 90 minutes. Tickets will be made available each Monday for the following Thursday through Sunday.
The Garden’s Visitor Pavilion, including the Garden Store, remains closed for everything except entry and exit to the Garden. Lost Hollow: the Kimbrell Children’s Garden and The Orchid Conservatory likewise will be closed.
“Lost Hollow has many high-touch surfaces, which would make cleaning and disinfecting difficult,” Hoffman said. “The entrance, walkways, and size of the Orchid Conservatory make social distancing difficult, so we’ve decided to keep it closed for now as well.”
In addition to a robust cleaning regimen, the Garden is also requiring staff to wear face masks, is installing barriers at admissions check-in areas and making hand-sanitizer available. Guests are also required to wear masks indoors and outdoors when the recommended six feet of social distance is not possible.
The late Daniel J. Stowe began to develop the Garden in southeastern Gaston County in the early 1990s, setting aside land he began acquiring before World War II. In 1999 the Garden opened its immaculate Visitor Pavilion and a dozen acres of manicured Gardens. By 2003 it had become one of the region’s most popular wedding venues, hosting nearly 100 weddings each year. In 2008, the Garden opened its 8,000-square-foot Orchid Conservatory and in 2014 Lost Hollow: The Kimbrell Children’s Garden. The Garden attracts more than 100,000 people annually.