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The Toledo Botanical Garden is ready to welcome back visitors for summer events

Many outdoor events were cancelled in 2020. Now, a full season of festivals, concerts and other events are being planned in 2021.

TOLEDO, Ohio — It's been a part of the greater Toledo community for five decades, and over the last four years, the Toledo Botanical Garden has grown to offer much more for visitors to enjoy.

Just off of Elmer Dr. in west Toledo, The Toledo Botanical Garden has been offering some of the most beautiful botanical sights in Northwest Ohio since the 60's

And over the years, the garden has grown from only 20 acres to 60.

"We have like a plant museum. So you can come and learn about plants and gardening tips that may be applicable to your own garden collection, your own back yard" said Scott Carpenter, spokesperson for Toledo Metroparks

Toledo Metroparks had partnered with the Garden for years, and then officially took over the Garden in 2017.

Now, the Metroparks are using their recently approved levy to further update the grounds here.

"We've almost doubled in terms of the attendance; we've seen more people from the neighborhood using the park." said Matt Killam, Toledo Metroparks chief of outreach

One of the main missions of the Metroparks was to bring more people to the garden, especially families.

Which is why they built the Secret Forest playground to help connect the younger generation with nature.

Credit: Jon Monk
The Secret Forest connects kids with the Garden and nature in fun ways that will keep them active outdoors.

"Because the reality is, we do have to hand this over to the next generation. And if they don't have experiences in it, then they might not want to have a life taking care of it." said Killam

Along with adding the Secret Forest for kids and families to have a little more things to do at the Garden, they have also installed the Doneghy Inclusive Garden, where folks of any physical ability can come together and not just enjoy the sights and sounds of the garden, but interact with the plants as well.

But the Toledo Botanical Garden offers more than just nature walks and outdoor sculptures.

Beginning this weekend, the garden will host multiple events all summer long, including the Crosby Festival of the Arts, and the Jazz in the Garden series that runs every Thursday from July 8th to September 9th.

"People are appreciating nature, but we also have music, we have kids playing. It's been a great time for Lucas County to celebrate, maybe what it has always had," said Killam.