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1 Theodore Wirth Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55422
612-370-4903
Admission: $0.00
Pay Lot: Parking prices range from 75 cents to $1.50 per hour. Annual Permits Also Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. Closed
Tue. 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
Wed. 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
Thu. 08:00 AM – 08:00 PM
Fri. 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
Sat. 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
Sun. 07:30 AM – 06:00 PM
2022 Garden Season: April 15-October 15; Weekends only October 16-31
Details:

Managed by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (“MPRB”), the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary (“EBWG”) is traditionally open from 7:30 a.m. until one hour before sunset, seven days a week between April 1st and October 15th, and on until October 31 from 7:30am to one hour before sunset. This year the garden opens April 15.

Visitor Guidelines

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden is a good place for birding
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden is a good place for birding

2022 Season

  • April 15th-October 15th
  • Visitor Shelter opens June 3rd.
  • Weekends only October 16th-31st.
  • Park Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 7:30 am to 6 pm (Thursdays, open until 8pm)
  • Visitor Shelter Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-6pm
  • Closed Mondays

What to Pack:

MPRB recommends that you pack your go bags with insect repellent, water bottles, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and/or sunhat, raingear, and masks for all. Birding Checklist – What to Pack for Birdwatching.

Martha Crone Visitor Shelter

The Martha Crone Visitor Shelter in the Wildflower Garden is traditionally open from 10 a.m. until one hour before sunset Monday-Saturday and from 12 p.m. until one hour before sunset on Sundays.

Improvements to begin in 2022

Construction is set to begin in the summer and fall of 2022 at the gardens. Updates will include adding a new family-friendly bathroom, replacing a tool shed, expanding the visitor center (which is quite small), and some upgrades to the front entrance. 

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden House
Rendering of how proposed Visitor Center addition fits in with surrounding building and fauna. Courtesy MPRB

About Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden is part of Theodore Wirth Park. The 15-acre garden is the oldest public wildflower garden in the nation. Its legacy dates back to 1907 when Minneapolis botanist Eloise Butler and botany teachers successfully petitioned the MPRB to create a natural botanic garden to preserve native flora as the city grew. Three acres of bog, meadow and hillside were properly fenced and the Wild Botanic Garden opened April 27, 1907. In 2019, the boardwalk was expanded to increase accessibility to the gardens for visitors.

The Garden is home to more than 500 plant species and 130 bird species. It provides 60,000 visitors annually with spectacular seasonal displays of native wildflowers in woodland, wetland and prairie areas. Each area creates a different habitat that fosters different types of plants, animals and birds. A 2/3-mile trail features 49 interpretive stations for guided and self-guided tours. Nestled in the garden is the Martha Crone Visitor Shelter where visitors will find natural history displays, natural history reference materials and friendly staff and volunteers waiting to help with Garden-related questions.

Eloise Butler is a good place for urban birding
The Garden is home to more than 500 plant species and 130 bird species

Programs and Tours at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Guided tours and special programs are regularly available at the wildflower garden. While some have nominal fees, most are free. All require pre-registration. You can preregister in the following ways.

Self-Guided Tours

Garden Guidebook can be borrowed or purchased for $5 at the Visitor Shelter. Follow the station numbers to learn more about plant species within the Wildflower Garden.

Family Fun Adventure Backpacks at Eloise Butler

The Garden offers loaner Family Fun Adventure Backpacks that are filled with activities to do together while exploring. Start your visit with a stop to the Visitor Shelter to borrow a backpack or a Garden Scavenger Hunt for a fun way to explore the Garden with your family. Binoculars are also available to borrow.

In the event that backpacks are not available when visitor shelter is closed, you may want to pack a bag of your own:

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
The Garden offers loaner Family Fun Adventure Backpacks and binoculars, so you don’t need to use toilet paper tubes.

Parking at Eloise Butler Gardens

NOTE: The Garden parking lot is a pay lot. You will need a Minneapolis Parks Parking Permit sticker, or use the pay box to park. Payment receipts or sticker must be displayed on your car’s dashboard to be valid. Parking at Minneapolis Park Lots ranges from 75 cents to $1.50/hour.

 

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