Thrive: Growing the Garden’s Future

The year 2024 is a big one at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden! It’s our 40th anniversary and we’re also expanding our Conservatory and gardens to offer exciting new guest experiences and programming. Visit this page for updates.

What are we doing?

As part of the Thrive campaign, we will be:

  • Nearly doubling the size of our Conservatory
  • Adding 7.5 acres of new gardens
  • Incorporating Wick Lake into the Garden experience
  • Expanding the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden to grow more produce for Feed More

How does this affect you, our guests and members?

  • There will be minimal impact. Construction is behind the Conservatory in areas not normally accessible to the public.
  • Expect the usual experiences associated with a nearby construction site, including some fencing and noise during work hours.
  • We will not have our Butterflies LIVE! exhibit in 2024 and 2025 while we expand the Conservatory to include a permanent butterfly house.

What’s the timeline?

  • This is a two-year project. Construction fencing will go up the week of February 5, 2024.
  • The Conservatory will stay open throughout 2024; however, we will not have Butterflies LIVE! in 2024 or 2025.

Why are we doing this?

  • To serve you better by providing exciting new guest experiences and programming.
  • To support our community and beyond with increased opportunities for connection, wellness, learning and resiliency.

This expansion is not related to the Garden’s purchase of 6.2 acres from Lakeside Baptist Church that is being supported by Henrico County. Ownership of that property will not transfer until July 2025, and master site planning must be done before any plans are envisioned.

Learn more about what you have to look forward to:


Nearly doubling in size with the addition of tropical and subtropical houses, including a permanent butterfly house; conversion of existing houses to Mediterranean and desert climates.

New gardens

7.5 acres of new gardens around the Conservatory and Wick Lake.

Wick Lake

Will be incorporated into the guest experience, including Martha’s Way, a walking trail that encircles the lake. Enhancements will increase the lake’s size to four acres, adding wildlife habitat, creating a living classroom, and serving as a filtration system for water pollutants.

Kroger Community Kitchen Garden

Expansion to include a demonstration garden growing produce for Feed More, plus more fruit trees, berries and vegetables.

Our mission:

Connecting people to plants by inspiring communities to explore and conserve nature.