Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden & Bird Sanctuary

Location

1 Theodore Wirth Pkwy
Golden Valley, MN 55422

Hours

Tues – Sun: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thurs: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm

Contact

612-370-4903

About Eloise Butler

Theodore Wirth was originally known as Glenwood Park. In early 1907, Eloise Butler, a retired botany teacher, along with others, petitioned the park board for space to establish a botanical garden. The request was granted and three acres of bog, meadow and hillside were set aside for the Wild Botanical Garden, along with a modest sum for paths and fencing. The garden officially opened on April 27, 1907. Butler tended the garden as a volunteer for four years, until 1911, when she was officially named curator and offered a full-time salary. She would go on to create a magnificent space, preserving and cataloguing wild plants and offering free botany classes. In 1929, the park board named the garden in her honor. Eloise died in 1933, at the age of 81, while on her way to work. Her ashes were spread in the garden and a pin oak tree was planted in her honor.

Each year, over 60,000 visitors enjoy the seasonal display of native wildflowers in woodland, wetland and prairie areas. Each area creates a different habitat that fosters different types of plants, animals and birds.

Peak Plant Display Times

Woodland – April and May – bloodroot, wild ginger, trillium, bluebells, trout lilies
Wetland – June and July – showy lady’s-slippers, native irises, cardinal flowers
Prairie – Mid- to Late-Summer – asters, sunflowers, blazing stars, goldenrods
Throughout – Fall – prairie grasses and autumn leaves

A one-way trail with signs leads the way through the Garden. The trail is approximately 1 mile long and includes steep hills and uneven terrain. Plan to spend 30 min to an hour exploring the beautiful gardens. View the trail map. Please note that due to COVID, most benches are not available this season.

If you are driving to the sanctuary, there is a pay parking lot located off of Theodore Wirth Parkway. The parking lot costs $1/hour or $4/day. Payment can be made via credit card, coins, or in the “ParkMpls” app.

The garden is open Tuesday – Sunday, April 15 – October 15; Saturday and Sunday only, October 16 – 31.