Frequently Asked Questions

Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions. Want to know more about the garden? Check out the frequently asked questions below or contact us.

  • What is the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden?

    A 13.54-acre public garden located along the Des Moines River north of I-235 and south of University Avenue. The Botanical Garden is a living museum focused on plants that thrive in Des Moines or in the tropical conservatory.

  • What is the Friends of the Botanical Garden?

    The Friends was the original 501(c)3 nonprofit. Founded in 1969, the Friends of the Botanical Center raised money and offered programming, while the Garden was managed by the City of Des Moines (1979-2003) and the Des Moines Water Works (2004-2012). In 2011 the original 501(c)3 was transferred to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and a governing board was formed as the nonprofit launched a capital campaign. Friends continues to exist as a leadership council that provides support to the Botanical Garden through outreach efforts such as member recruitment and program and event support. As a chapter of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Friends is governed by the Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors and works with the President/CEO and staff.

  • Who designed the outdoor gardens?

    Doug Hoerr of Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects in Chicago designed the master plan and led the execution of the first two phases. Hoerr also designed the gardens along Fleur Drive and at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.

  • Are dogs and leashed pets allowed?

    Only service animals are allowed inside the building or fenced areas of the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden.

  • How do I become a volunteer at the Botanical Garden?

    We welcome volunteers and offer a broad range of opportunities for service, including horticulture, administrative tasks, admissions desk, gift shop and helping staff produce a variety of fund raisers.

    Those interested in potentially volunteering can go to the “Support” tab from the home page and select “Volunteer” from the drop down menu. Applications for core, short-term and groups can be found on this page.

  • What is the smoking policy at the Botanical Garden?

    The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is a nicotine-free environment. Cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, cigars, chewable tobacco and similar products are not permitted on the Botanical Garden property including all grounds, buildings, restrooms and parking areas.

  • Are strollers and wheelchairs available at the Botanical Garden?

    Wheelchairs and strollers are available to borrow free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis and are located just inside the entry of the Botanical Garden.

  • Does the Botanical Garden accept plant donations?

    Plant donations are considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are interested in donating a plant, please email a picture of it to and a horticulturist will review the photo and respond.

  • How do I get a donation from the Botanical Garden for my organization?

    We support various community organizations, fundraisers and other non-profit organizations with donations of free passes or memberships. The requests are fulfilled once a month and are based on how the requesting organization's mission pairs with our own of 'Exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants.' If you would like to request a donation, please fill out the form below and email it to

    Donation Request Form

  • When is Trellis Cafe open?

    Trellis Cafe is open from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Trellis is not open on Mondays.