The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden re-opened Saturday after undergoing the first half of an $11,000,000 dollar renovation.
"I called about a month ago to find out when the construction was going to be done and found it was going to be this weekend. Not even knowing it was free today, we came down here because that was the plan,” said Jesse Krueger, a visitor.
The inside of the facility was first to get a major facelift.
Walkways and the balcony have both been widened.
A "live wall" has been added, and a cafe will open in November.
Plenty of work remains outdoors.
A new parking lot and outdoor garden will be completed in 2014.
Employees hope the renovations help give visitors a greater appreciation for plant life.
"We're passionate about our mission which is exploring, explaining, and celebrating the world of plants. We hope that today and the coming weeks and months as we unveil these sparkling opportunities, that people walk away touched by that mission,” said Kelly Norris, a horticulture specialist with the Des Moines Botanical Garden.
The botanical gardens are now open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.