Friends of the Arboretum

About Friends of the Arboretum

Friends of the Arboretum - known as FOTA - exists to foster, promote and develop the aesthetic, educational, recreational, cultural, environmental, and scientific aspects of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. FOTA operates under the auspices of The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park (ARFOP), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Friends of the Arboretum is a vibrant organization comprised of people who enjoy being outdoors, appreciate the beauty of the Arboretum, love visiting the gardens and hiking the trails, and want to support this outstanding community amenity.

Become a member of FOTA

Your membership in FOTA supports programs and capital improvements and produces many special events that draw visitors to the Arboretum. Benefits include: Free admission to the arboretum during normal operating hours (does not include special events), Spring Plant Sale preview night, FOTA Annual Social Event, Monthly e-Newsletter, other FOTA events as announced, and participation in the Reciprocal Admissions Program sponsored by the American Horticulture Society involving more than 200 gardens and arboretums.

Membership Levels:

  • Individual Member ($35, one individual, one card),
  • Member+1 ($50, two individuals residing at the same address, two cards),
  • Member+1 Silver ($75, two individuals residing at the same address, two cards + 20 Guest Passes),
  • Family ($75, see definition), and
  • Patron ($100, two individuals residing at the same address, 2 cards + 50 Guest Passes).




There are volunteer opportunities for those who want to get the most out of their membership. Whether it's hosting one of the Wine Tastings on the Terrace, helping with exhibits, or decorating for Luminary Walk, FOTA volunteers have fun while making the Arboretum a special experience for thousands of visitors.

FOTA Advisory Board

  Chair:  Sonya Wright
  Vice Chair:  Jennifer Gerlach
  Secretary:  Kim Ledbetter
  Treasurer:  Linda Higgins

Members at large:

Carlos Corredor, Sue Davidson, Todd Denmark, Jennifer Gerlach, Brian Hancock, Leo Handzlik, Linda Higgins, Mike Hopson, Libby Irving, Nancy Jernberg, Irene Parsons, Linda Patterson, Bob Shea, Mark Stuecheli, Cathy Tamisiea, Paul Tamisiea

Have questions or comments about Friends of the Arboretum, email us.

Funded by FOTA

Generous donors, membership dues and FOTA fundraising events have funded the following capital improvements:

  • Ailie's Glade
  • Betsy and Gordon Ross Herb Garden
  • Byrd's Grove
  • Cohen Iris Garden
  • Environmental Education Visitors Center
  • Erickson Water Garden
  • Greenhouses I and II
  • Haake Celebration Terrace and Pergola
  • Joshua's Story
  • Marder Woodland Garden
  • Margie's Serenity Point
  • Monet Garden
  • Rotary Children's Garden
  • Sculpture Acquisitions
  • Stous Promenade
  • The Train Garden
  • Welcome Garden and Entrance Gate

I invited my family to attend Luminary Walk to celebrate my birthday this year. None of us had ever attended before. It was a night I will never forget. It was incredibly magical. I enjoyed it so much. It completely outdid my expectations. Your organization should be extremely proud. It was outstanding!