WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Botanica Gardens have been closed to the public since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the closure, Botanica staff are finding creative ways to share the Wichita Gardens with the world.
By growing its digital platform, Botanica is now able to bring Spring way beyond its gates. The live tulip cam, virtual garden tours, storytime, and social media challenges bring the blooms to a worldwide online audience.
“I’m so proud of our team and the Wichita community — this is our favorite time of year and we are finding ways to share the joy of this season from a distance,” said Marty Miller, Executive Director of Botanica. “Botanica holds a special place in the hearts of so many and we appreciate each person who engages online.”
Most days, Miller makes his way to the Gardens to check in. The team of gardeners still continue their work, but without the assistance of Botanica’s beloved volunteers. From his cell phone, Miller records a garden or plant at its peak and tells viewers more about it. These videos land on social media pages and email updates.
Also, virtual storytime with Miss Laurel is hosted each Tuesday and Thursday at 10 A.M. and recordings can be accessed anytime. Each weekday on Facebook an activity or craft contest is posted and submissions are accepted. Participants are eligible to win a free family membership. With all these efforts combined, Botanica said their online traffic is up considerably and their connections to the community remain strong.
“Mother nature marches on. Keeping Botanica in the best possible condition is a big responsibility, we are committed to returning this local treasure to the community as soon as possible,” Miller said. “We continue our stewardship of this special place and want to share it with Wichita. Things are different and we are making the best of it for everyone missing their time here this year.”
For more information on Botanica and their virtual tours, click here.