The Gardens at SIUE Celebrates 3oth Anniversary

For the last 30 years, beauty, recreation, tranquility and nature have been intertwined, displayed and open to the public as The Gardens at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. This campus living laboratory will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a virtual campaign that runs from Monday, Nov. 16 – Saturday, Dec. 5.

“The Gardens at SIUE remains a horticultural, recreational and community treasure in southern Illinois,” said Marian Smithson, The Gardens at SIUE Advisory Board chair and one of The Gardens’ first master gardeners, a person trained in the science and art of gardening. “To keep The Gardens flourishing during this difficult period, we are initiating a fundraising campaign.”

“The Gardens has seen financial challenges in recent years because of budget cuts and the state budget crisis,” said Smithson. “We currently do not have any paid staff and have made other financial cutbacks. We are asking the community and our supporters to not only help sustain The Gardens but to help it thrive.”

The Gardens Advisory Board, a 10-member board of campus and community leaders, continues to advise the Vice Chancellor for Administration on long term plans for The Gardens and on fundraising. The Gardens continues to rely on private support for operations expenses.

The Gardens at SIUE comprises existing woodlands, ponds, grasslands and an arboretum on a lush and rolling 36-acre site. The Gardens is a living laboratory dedicated to supporting the educational and research mission of the University. Environmental sustainability, conservation and stewardship are cornerstones of The Gardens’ vision, providing a unique opportunity to research, implement and demonstrate innovative green technologies. Gardens, facilities and amenities feature renewable, recycled and sustainability-produced materials. During the early phases of its development, the Gardens at SIUE was one of three world-renowned Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Signature Gardens.