Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park launch $115 million expansion campaign
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park is launching a $115 million dollar campaign that hopes to dramatically expand the park’s facilities. Park officials say the expansion is needed as the park has experienced tremendous attendance growth since opening its doors in 1995.
Among the new features at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park include a new rooftop sculpture garden, a new 60,000 square foot welcome center and an expanded and updated amphitheater. However, Park CEO David Hooker says the message of the campaign goes well beyond just building a bigger park.
“All of these facilities that we have and that we want to create, they are going to be great, they are going to be some of the finest the world has to offer, but that’s really not the most important thing by any stretch," Hooker said. "What’s important is the lives that we touch. We want to promote lifelong learning, we want to promote relationships between people, we want to enrich people’s lives, and to do that you use the facility, so that is the main reason why we are doing this.”
Park officials announced Thursday that $102 million already has been raised as part of the capital campaign titled "Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love.” Hooker breaks down the title.
“The first part ‘welcoming the world’ what we are trying to communicate is that we want Meijer Gardens to be a place for everybody. We want the whole world to come and visit us, Hooker said. "The second part, ‘is honoring a legacy of love.’ It’s a love story between Fred and Lena Meijer as a couple, Fred’s love of sculpture, Lena’s love of horticulture, and their love of this community. And as we go and embark on this big campaign we want everybody to know that we are going to honor what has come before this time, as we move forward with this big new campaign,” he said.
Park officials say construction on the park is expected to begin in the fall and take roughly four years.