Money nearly raised to begin Phase One of new Louisville botanic - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Money nearly raised to begin Phase One of new Louisville botanical garden

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The plan to bring a botanical garden to Louisville is inching closer to becoming a reality.

The plan rests on a 23-acre site at the intersection of Frankfort Avenue and River Road. Back in May of 2015, the city agreed to sell the site for $1.

The master plan for the future botanical gardens includes a visitor's center with a restaurant and coffee shop, an overlook of Beargrass Creek, a conservatory and a vast array of different rental spaces.

In order to get started on Phase One, the group in charge of the project needs $4.2 million. So far, it’s raised $3.6 million.

“The first two plus was all private donors," said Kasy Maier with the Waterfront Botanical Gardens. "We have people that give us $5 a month. We have a donor who just pledged $1 million."

Earlier this year, the state legislature pledged $450,000 over the course of two years for the project, but Gov. Matt Bevin cut that funding in a line-item veto.

“We are still talking to some of the departments in Frankfort that have their own budgets and are hopeful that something will come through,” Maier said. “We do seem to have a lot of support in Frankfort.”

In total, the project will cost around $50 million.

“We lost a lot of funding through the state cuts,” said Metro Councilwoman Cindi Fowler (D-14). “So it's important that someone picks up the slack.

The plan is to begin construction on phase one in 2017 and open in Spring of 2018.

“This is going to be something Louisville has not had,” Fowler said. “There's nothing like it.”

Related Stories:

City sells 23 acres for $1 for future botanical gardens

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