Places Trails & Beaches

Friendship Botanic Gardens Prepares for Season Opening

March 24, 2017

Friendship Botanic Gardens is having a “Wake Up the Gardens” Volunteer Day on Sunday March 26 from noon to 4. E-mail Triecia at for more information. The gardens will open to the public on May 6.


Friendship Botanic Gardens was started by three brothers, Virgil, Joe and Clarence Stauffer as a garden for the Chicago World’s Fair “Century of Progress”. Dr. Frank Warren and his wife, founders of Pottawattamie Park, liked the park so much that they invited the brothers to move the park to Michigan City and deeded the park to them for just $1 a year for 100 years. The brothers worked diligently to create the beautiful park that you see today. Friendship gardens truly is international. They gained support from many different countries and received surprising amounts of goods. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands donated 200,000 tulip bulbs, King George V donated plants and even a royal gardener! The King of Persia sent plants for the rose garden. Today what you see are many different spots throughout the gardens that celebrate these countries.

As you walk the grounds of Friendship Botanic Gardens there are many open spaces. There is a small lake and bog and beautiful spots for a wedding or graduation party. There are also several more rugged trails to explore, the longest being the wilderness trail at .7 miles. Overall, there are approximately 3 miles of trails.

This summer, the folks at Friendship Botanic Gardens are doing their best to promote and remind people of this wonderful spot right in the center of Michigan City. They are planning several events, one of the biggest being a Bacchus and Beer Festival in the Gardens on August 19th. They are also planning a gala and will once again bring the lyric opera back to the gardens. They also do several FREE educational programs for both children and adults. You can see a full list of events here.

Friendship Botanic Gardens opens this year on May 6, but if you become a member (just $35 for an individual and $50 for a family), you have access to the grounds year round from dawn to dusk. You also receive fishing privileges and for certain memberships you can receive a milestone brick. Friendship Gardens is dog friendly as long as they are on a leash!

For more information visit or call 219-878-9885. They are always looking for more volunteers. Cost is $6 for adults, free for children under 12. Members have free access. Wednesdays are FREE as a give-back to the community.

One of the beautiful spots for a wedding.

One of the beautiful spots for a wedding.

The meadow where Johnzo West will have his concert

The meadow.

Another wedding spot

Another more intimate wedding spot. Perfect for photos!

The rose garden, donated by the King of Persia

The rose garden, donated by the King of Persia

The Native American area, a perfect spot for children to play

The Native American area, a perfect spot for children to play


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