On Saturday, April 23rd, Friendship Botanic Gardens (formerly International Friendship Gardens) kicked off its 2016 season with its first annual Spring Garden Gala at the Long Beach Country Club. The Board of Directors unveiled a slate of ambitious projects currently underway as part of an effort to grow the Gardens into a signature destination point for Northwest Indiana.
The new additions to the grounds include the “Trail of Lights,” an illuminated pathway of streetlamps that will guide visitors through the gardens after sunset. The Trail of Lights project was made possible through financial support from the NIPSCO Corporation, the NiSource Foundation, and The Michigan City Redevelopment Fund. The Michigan City Board of Public Works donated 17 Sternberg Light fixtures that will be used in the Trail of Lights.
New board president John Leinweber also announced that construction has begun on phase 1 of the ArcelorMittal Children’s Garden: a newly founded garden centered on interactive and educational play experiences for young children. The ArcelorMittal Corporation provided funds to begin this 3 year project.
Guests at the Spring Garden Gala enjoyed dinner, drinks, and silent and live auctions of artwork and prize packages donated by local community members. Attendees also viewed a garden retrospective that showcased historic photographs of the grounds in their mid-twentieth century heyday.
“This was an unprecendented night for the Gardens. Thanks to the hard work of our Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, and sponsors, we were able to double our fundraising goal. The entire Friendship Gardens team wishes to express its sincere gratitude to all of the community stakeholders who are helping us bring this vision to life.” Leinweber said.
The Spring Garden Gala and the broader Friendship Gardens revitalization project have been made possible with the generous support of Nipsco, Long Beach Country Club, The NiSource Foundaton, ArcelorMittal, Dekker Vacuum Technologies, Marquiss Electric, and the Michigan City Redevelopment Fund.
Additional support provided by:
- Arbor Hill Inn
- Atkinson Collection Gallery
- Briar Leaf Golf Club
- Boulder Ridge Equine
- Evolve Spa
- Galveston Steak-house
- The Great Escape
- Joy of Flowers
- Lake Interiors, Inc.
- Paul Zubrys
- Local Color Gallery
- Mix & Mingle
- Sacred Dunes
- Alternative Health
- Spike & Buddy’s Décor
- Skip’s Restaurant & Catering
Stay tuned for more updates in the incredible Friendship Botanic Gardens comeback story.