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Wide-open Spaces. COVID-19 Update

By: Erin Anderson, Executive Director | 03/13/2020

Breathe in, breathe out. We understand things are getting a little stressful in our world lately. Fortunately, the Garden is a great place to find peace and fresh air!

Our Garden gates are open, and we are focused on a safe and enjoyable experience for all our guests. We are serious about taking precautions against Coronavirus (COVID-19), and we are serious about our commitment to you, our guests.

You’re probably hearing a lot about social distancing lately. In a nutshell, social distancing involves staying far enough away from other people to avoid catching or spreading a virus by breathing in droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Our Garden is full of wide-open spaces, which is a good thing for social distancing. In times like these, people can feel isolated. Our mission at the Garden is to grow our community by connecting people, plants, and nature. We may not be able to give you a hug or shake your hand when we see you, but we want to provide a safe space to convene and invite you to the Garden to take a stroll, play in our Children’s Adventure Garden, or explore our spring flora.

Currently, all garden classes, programs, and events are still a go. We will take extra precautions for any of those small programs which occur indoors (like eliminating direct contact, practicing that social distancing, hosting events outdoors weather permitting, and, of course, cleaning, sanitizing, cleaning, repeat). We are also examining events and programs that host over 250 people four weeks in advance of their scheduled day and time. Currently, our first large event isn’t scheduled until May, so we have some time to make those determinations.

For any changes to the calendar, as always, our first goal will be to reschedule.  Tickets purchased for any class, program, or event will be good for the new date. We’ll be bummed if you can’t make the new date, but understand when these things happen!  Because the Garden thrives and grows on your support we would love if you would turn your ticket into a donation (we can even provide you with a tax receipt)! If that doesn’t work for you, please give us a call!

We will also be reviewing client scheduled events four weeks in advance of their scheduled day and time. Events such as field trips or rentals, who would like to reschedule may do so, on a mutually agreed upon date, if their event falls within that four-week period.

In addition to new protocols for our programs and events, we are updating our staff sick leave and paid time off policies. Each member of our Garden staff is important to us. Really important. We think of each other as family. For that reason, we don’t believe anyone should have to choose between missing a paycheck, losing their hard-earned PTO time, or using that PTO time to care for a child or family member. What this means for you, our guests is knowing all the IBG staff you come in contact with are feeling great!

That’s a lot of information about what we are doing to help you stay healthy.  Here are a few things you can do to help us stay healthy, too:

  • If you are feeling sick, please stay home. We love you and will welcome you with open arms when you are fever free and feeling good.
  • The success of the Garden depends on you, our guests and supporters! During this time, please renew your membership, register for our upcoming events, and donate. We rely on you to keep our Garden gates open.
  • Lastly, it’s not just about the viability of the Garden, it’s about our whole community. Please support all our local businesses in any way you can. Buy a gift card, give that extra tip, donate to that non-profit you know relies on funding the same way we do here at the Garden.

And please, if you need anything from us, let us know. We are all in this together.


Erin Anderson
Executive Director