Seasonal Celebration Plaza
SEASONAL CELEBRATION PLAZA
This two-year project, completed in 2010, replaced the previous fountain with water displays, a popular but aging feature. Two wide brick walkways, accessible to wheelchairs and baby carriages, extend from the fountain plaza - one past the rose and herb gardens to the gazebo, and a second through the perennial garden and onto the terrace overlooking Lake Glacier. Lighting was eventually added, as well as bits of poetry to embellish each side of the fountain. Fundraising was coordinated by FFRG, who worked closely with the MetroParks. Over $500,000 was raised from individuals, organizations, and local foundations, including the MetroParks, its Foundation, and FFRG whose combined contributions totaled nearly half of the funds.
Out of public view but essential to the operations of the Gardens are two 20' x 70', "high-tunnel" greenhouses. Each structure is equipped with carefully regulated temperature controls, allowing for year-round use. Large, metal tables provide plant propagating space for garden beds and containers, and during the winter months, for the FFRG Spring Plant Sale. These greenhouses, constructed in 2010 and 2018, were paid for with profits from previous Spring Plant Sales, in combination with funds contributed by the MetroParks.
Ohio Woodland Gardens
OHIO WOODLAND GARDENS
This 2012 project added more wide walkways, making it easier for visitors to explore the landscapes radiating from the Gazebo. Extensive re-engineering to correct drainage and erosion problems at the Gardens' northeastern portion led to the creation of a picturesque low bridge and rock-strewn stream bed. The woodland edges of the Gardens were developed into more natural walking paths with small gathering spaces, and hillsides were cleared of invasive plants to create a habitat conducive to Ohio wildflowers. FFRG's fundraising campaign raised over $300,000 for this project.
The D.D. and Velma Davis Education and Visitor Center
THE D.D. AND VELMA DAVIS EDUCATION & VISITOR CENTER
This beautiful, heavily used centerpiece building opened in late 2000, enhancing the Gardens' visitor services, education and meeting space, plus adding a cafe, gift shop and library. A multi-year effort of planning and fundraising, The Davis Center is by far the most extensive support effort of the FFRG Board to date. It has given the MetroParks and community a debt-free jewel, and continues to attract visitors from far and wide.
FFRG fundraising over the decades has made possible several garden and building enhancements that have helped the MetroParks create an inspiring public garden experience for visitors. Gazebo repairs, garden trellis renovation, extensive rose garden re-planting, large-scale artwork purchases, and a horticulture library are among the many ways that FFRG has provided support for Fellows Riverside Gardens. Special gardens such as Christina's Labyrinth and the Martha Muransky Perennial Walk, plus many smaller purchases and plantings, have been funded by donations and memorials over the years.