Growing to Inspire


The Preservation of Communal Green Space.

That’s one way great cities are distinguished. Think the Tuileries in Paris... London’s Hyde Park... Central Park in New York City. Long ago, Overland Park had the foresight to acquire and set aside 300 acres of land as the City’s Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. In this, we are truly fortunate. Now, that legacy has been passed on to us . . . a responsibility to nurture and grow for your children and your children’s children. If you believe that the preservation of communal spaces, cultural amenities and quality of life are important to keeping Overland Park an outstanding place to live, work and raise your family, then enhancing and expanding the Arboretum and Botanical Garden through the Growing to Inspire campaign deserves your support.



LongHouse opened to the public on September 9, 2023.

Following 30 years of dreaming, 8 years of planning, and 2 years of construction, the new visitor center - LongHouse - opened to the public on September 9, 2023. The first phase of the Growing to Inspire campaign reached its goal! LongHouse is now the front door of the Arboretum and the premier gathering place in Overland Park for celebrations and meetings.

Hundreds of donors contributed nearly $11,500,000  for construction, landscaping, equipment and furnishings.

The Growing to Inspire campaign continues for those who want to ensure that the new building and outdoor spaces are furnished, equipped, landscaped, and enhanced as needed.

Purchase a "Leaf"

One of the most distinctive features of the area surrounding LongHouse is the elevated Hilltop Terrace encircled by the Inspiration Wall adorned with recognition of those who are helping the Arboretum grow. We offer you the opportunity help the Arboretum continue to "grow to inspire" and permanently honor your family or organization with an inscribed "leaf" on the wall. MORE INFORMATION

Support Programming

Education - By definition, a public garden exists not only for visitors to take pleasure in nature, but to enhance their knowledge of horticulture and environmental stewardship. Continuing the Growing to Inspire campaign ensures that there are programs to significantly expand educational opportunities for all ages. With spaces designed into LongHouse and the former visitor center repurposed as the Environmental Education Center, the Arboretum is positioned to partner with other educational institutions to increase the scope and the depth of its programming for children and adults.

Art - Across the country, botanical gardens have truly become outdoor art museums, and the Overland Park Arboretum is no exception. LongHouse is a beautiful venue for art celebrating nature and our environment. Funding will enable acquisition of permanent art and development of temporary exhibits.

Celebration - The Arboretum was already a destination for outdoor community events, private parties, and small weddings. The setting is indeed unmatched in our community! LongHouse with surrounding gardens and terraces allows for more space for formal receptions and dining for up to 200 people, a full catering kitchen, and accommodations for all weather conditions. Funding will provide furnishings and equipment to enhance these spaces.

From Our Supporters

I believe the city’s master plan presents a unique challenge for us to join together to build a tremendous regional attraction in Overland Park. Such an enhancement and expansion undoubtedly will make the Arboretum a focal point of communal life for the arts, education and celebration. As an investor since its founding, I strongly feel that this public-private partnership offers us all a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to leave a marvelous legacy.

Dr. Mary Davidson

In our active, fast-paced world, we often find it difficult to unplug. The Overland Park Arboretum is a destination of peace and serenity that allows us to slow down, breathe the fresh air and relax in the living room of nature. As we invite people from around the country to spend time with us, our landscaped gathering space will make people feel better, happier and connected to their souls. What a beautiful gift!

Dana Markel, President, Visit Overland Park

I am pleased that Overland Park’s Legacy of Greenery committee’s vision for the Arboretum back in the 1980s is moving closer to reality. Our community – including city and county elected officials, business leaders, philanthropists and voters – has continually shown a commitment to preserving green space, providing exemplary educational and cultural institutions, and ensuring a high quality of life for our citizens. The Arboretum is an outstanding example of what government, generous donors and volunteer spirit working together can do.

Ed Eilert, Chair, Johnson County Board of Commissioners, and Mayor, City of Overland Park, 1981-2005

Over the years, we have watched the seeds being planted and the gardens mature – growing into a beautiful, welcoming gift to our community. Now we have the opportunity to be part of a significant expansion of the Arboretum. Our support of this vision will create an inheritance for our families and all who treasure what beauty and nature bring to our lives.

Georgia Erickson

Campaign Cabinet

Wayne Byrd

Mary Davidson

Georgia Erickson

Scott Havens

Jim Holland

Janet Long

Gary Nevius

Bradley Scafe