While many outdoor venues were able to reopen following COVID-19 closures, the Miami Beach Botanical Garden was caught in a difficult position. The COVID testing facility at the Convention Center was situated directly in front of the garden’s east fence with tests administered just steps away from the front gate, but now the State Health Department has agreed to make accommodations to allow visitors to enter the garden.
As a conservancy that depends on public and private funding, the extended closure has been challenging. Normally the garden would be hosting weddings, corporate events, and photo shoots. Some of those private events continued but most were cancelled with deposits refunded. The garden has been closed to the general public since the March closures to prevent the spread of the virus.
About 30% of the garden’s $750,000 budget comes from outside events, another 20% from events the garden hosts including Taste of The Garden. Another 20% comes from City funding with the remainder made up through grant funds, membership, the gift shop and plant sales.
The situation dragged on as the State of Florida continued to extend its lease for the testing center and Alternate Care Facility at the Convention Center. But this week, Garden Executive Director Sandy Shapiro got some good news. When the State extended its lease yet again, it agreed to move the fence in two locations so that members and guests will be able to enter through the front gates by Thursday, September 10.
Shapiro said she is looking forward to reopening. "It's a pleasure to welcome visitors back to the Garden. We have missed our friends and neighbors!" She added, "We have introduced protocols for everyone's safety, including timed, limited access"
The new paradigm: Limited access timed tickets will be available for pre-purchase. There will be two, two-hour sessions per day, each with a maximum of 20 guests for a total of 40 per day. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $5 per person. Available slots are Thursday through Sunday between 11 am and 1 pm and 1:15 pm and 3:15 pm. Gaylord’s Guided Garden Tour will be scheduled Saturday mornings at 11 for an additional $5 and will be limited to 9 people. Saturday and Sunday in-person yoga sessions also return but will be limited to 10.
There will be a special Garden After Dark Member’s Night to celebrate on Thursday, September 10th, limited to 50 people.
Social distancing and mask protocols apply.
During the hiatus, the City completed the expansion of the garden to the Collins Canal which will now be open for visitors.
For more information visit the Miami Beach Botanical Garden website.
Miami Beach Botanical Garden to Reopen:
COVID testing center to make accommodations for visitors to enter
Construction could begin within a year
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