Wednesday, September 10, 2014  |   Email   Print

Cleveland Botanical Garden and The Holden Arboretum Launch Integration

In an unprecedented move for large public gardens nationwide, The Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden today announced the formal launch of their integration with one another. The Board of Directors for each organization voted last week to officially begin the process of joining together.

The new entity, which will become the 13th largest public garden in the United States, will do more to enhance Northeast Ohio and the world through trees and plants than either organization ever could on its own.

“Our members, donors and the community at large have given our plan a resounding endorsement; and we are so grateful for the incredible philanthropic support we have received,” says Natalie Ronayne, who has headed the Botanical Garden since 2007 and will become Executive Vice President of the integrated organizations. “Because of their endorsement, Clevelanders and Northeast Ohioans will enjoy one of the finest public gardens in the world with both urban and exurban campuses to visit and explore all year long.”

Indeed, members of the community have rallied behind this exciting and innovative integration in grand fashion since leaders of the Arboretum and Botanical Garden announced in June that they were pursuing the idea. Charitable foundations and generous individuals have contributed more than $5.6 million in fewer than two months to help make the integration vision a reality.

“The community support has been phenomenal, and we believe this integration will serve as a model for other not-for-profits to collaborate in significant ways for the betterment of their communities for generations to come,” says Clement W. Hamilton, Ph.D., who has headed the Arboretum since 2008 and will serve as President and CEO of the new organization.

Current and future members of both the Arboretum and Botanical Garden can enjoy some benefits of this exciting and innovative integration immediately. Members of the Arboretum, located in Kirtland, Ohio, will receive free admission to the Botanical Garden, located in Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district, and vice versa. Likewise, members of either campus may enjoy the same discounts at the gift shop and on classes and events at the other campus.

As a result of the Arboretum and Botanical Garden coming together, the communities, schools and forests of Northeast Ohio will benefit as they build upon their already successful education and outreach efforts. Those include, to name a few, the Botanical Garden’s urban-agriculture program for teens and the Arboretum’s community-forestry program and Growing Students and Science for 2nd through 5th graders.

“Now, we will have the scale to do so much more to establish our campuses as world-class visitor experiences, to become leaders in scientific research and to make a greater positive impact on our communities through urban-greening and community-forestry initiatives,” says Hamilton. “The opportunities ahead are amazing.”

About Cleveland Botanical Garden

Cleveland Botanical Garden is an ever-changing urban escape featuring beautiful gardens, an exotic glasshouse and enchanting events. Founded in 1930 and located on 10 acres in the heart of Cleveland’s University Circle cultural district, the Botanical Garden attracted 188,000 people in 2013 and has its highest membership ever – 8,300 households. As a year-round attraction, the Botanical Garden educates and inspires guests inside its Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, which is the only conservatory in the country with two distinct biomes – the rainforest of Costa Rica and the spiny desert of Madagascar. The Botanical Garden also is committed to making the community greener and healthier through its community outreach programs, which grow young lives and restore land throughout Cleveland. The Botanical Garden manages six learning farms in urban areas as part of its signature outreach program, Green Corps, which provides work-study opportunities for teens and school gardens for students of all ages.

About The Holden Arboretum

The Holden Arboretum is an outdoor living museum that promotes the beauty and importance of trees and other woody plants to create sustainable and healthy communities in the Great Lakes region and beyond. Covering more than 3,600 acres, Holden is one of the nation’s largest arboretums.   It is home to a diverse collection of trees from around the world, themed gardens, over 2,000 acres of protected forests, and more than 20 miles of hiking trails.  Holden envisions a Northeast Ohio in which trees, forests, and gardens provide maximum ecological and social benefits to the region’s communities. To that end, Holden focuses its mission programs on growing trees and communities, conserving native forests, and engaging children with plants. Founded in 1931, Holden is supported by The Holden Trust, earned revenue, and many generous donors. Holden attracts over 90,000 visitors annually and has a membership of around 6,500 households.


Cleveland Botanical Garden receives public support through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

MEDIA CONTACT: Vicki McDonaold,, 216.502.6395


<< Back