Children’s Garden Expansion Project

Children’s Garden Expansion Updates

5.11.2022: Bell Children’s Garden Officially Breaks Ground

It’s an exciting next chapter in the history of the Garden! We officially “broke ground” for the new Carol & Bruce Bell Children’s Garden on May 11, 2022.

If you’ve been to the Garden this spring, you’ve likely seen that the current Nielsen Children’s Garden is being transformed with the help of Boldt Construction. Boldt along with the Bell family and a small number of donors, community leaders, and students from Beaumont Elementary joined us to celebrate.

In this Bell Children’s Garden, our community will discover new ways to learn and play in the outdoors. Together, we’re creating an experience that cultivates wonder, nurtures the roots of all people, and creates memories that will last a lifetime.

2.2.2022: Fundraising & Construction Bidding Announcement

Green Bay Botanical Garden is overjoyed to share that the community has not only met, but exceeded, our $11.5 million fundraising goal for the Nature Nurtures campaign – reaching $13.3 million! These funds will be used to build the new 2.5-acre Carol & Bruce Bell Children’s Garden at the Garden.

We had more than 375 donors to this campaign, a 25% increase since our last campaign for the Schneider Family Grand Garden in 2016, which had about 300 donors. The Nature Nurtures campaign also exceeded the Grand Garden campaign in funds raised by over 100%!

Given the current environment of higher supply and labor costs and supply chain delays, the $1.8 million raised above the Garden’s goal will be very much needed. During the construction bid process, the Garden found the costs of the project came in significantly higher than originally estimated for a number of reasons, such as the cost of materials like steel, and limited availability of materials.

Boldt Construction, headquartered in Appleton, was selected via the bidding process to be the general contractor for the Children’s Garden expansion. Boldt is a reputable company with deep roots in this region, and they have experience on a number of projects constructed in natural settings. We are excited to partner with them on this very unique project.

The Garden will begin additional planning immediately and anticipates construction will begin when winter conditions subside in early spring 2022.

As the Garden just celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2021, we are excited for the next 25 years and more to come, and are so grateful for the continued support from our greater Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin community, including our generous sponsors which you can learn about below.

Nurturing a Love of Nature for All Time

The current Nielsen Children’s Garden includes a slide tower surrounded by Mr. McGregor’s Garden, a maze, a koi pond, and the Stumpf Hobbit House restroom. In 2023, the expansion will build upon these beloved favorites surrounding the Gertrude B. Nielsen Village, with a wide variety of new areas to enjoy.

The Carol & Bruce Bell Children’s Garden will include a number of unique features including the:

  • Gateway Sculpture, sponsored by the late Edward L. Meyer, Jr. and Mary Ellen Troup.
  • Michael & Judith Parrish Family Raindrop Garden
  • Cornerstone Foundation Wetland Stream Garden
  • Gail Fischer Family Lily Pad Splash Pad
  • Rosemann Family Field Vegetable Garden
  • Green Bay Packers Big Oak Play Area
  • KC Stock Foundation Mushroom Jumper Play Area
  • George Kress Foundation Tree Houses
  • Patricia Schneider Council of Critters
  • Schanock Family Hillside Tunnel & Cave

The project also includes nature-based art sculptures from well-known artists from across the country that will help to tell the engaging and educational stories of nature. Families will be able to experience the wonder of the Wisconsin wild and learn together, instilling a love of nature for all time. 

Press Conference Announcement Nature Nurtures Campaign Newsletter

Click the photo below for an in-depth look at the inspiration behind the expansion.

Connecting nature, play, and learning, we are so excited to transform our current Children’s Garden into a natural wonderland where children in our community and their families discover delight and wonder in their surroundings, and along the way, create memories that will last a lifetime.


To learn more about the Children’s Garden Expansion Project, contact Susan Garot, Executive Director, at 920.491.3691 ext. 102 or or Cindy Berton, Director of Development, at ext. 104 or