The master plan update for the Bellevue Botanical Garden is complete. This update does not call for major changes to trails and display gardens, but addresses the 17-acre Wilburton acquisition, the location of a new visitor center and maintenance facility, planned entry improvements and two new garden rooms.
The Garden's master plan was last updated in 1997, with the completion of The Bellevue Botanical Garden Study & Implementation Guidelines by Iain Robertson. Many of the recommendations from that document, often called the "Master Plan Update," have been implemented, and the plan is generally considered to be a great success. The new update is not an overhaul of the existing plan but will revise and complement it to meet current and future Garden needs.
It has become apparent that, as the Garden matures, a comprehensive and cohesive update is required. The new update:
- Addresses current and future Garden program and infrastructure needs,
- Identifies new development projects for fundraising opportunities,
- Determines final locations for proposed new facilities,
- Acknowledges current and future activities of the Garden, with an emphasis on maximizing site characteristics,
- Provides for an overall continuity of design while providing interesting and pleasing spaces for visitors to enjoy, and
- Reflects the image and direction the city and the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society wants to convey and express.
Several key planning/design issues are identified and addressed as part of update. These key issues include the recent Wilburton acquisition, finalization of the location of a future new visitor center and maintenance facility, frontage and entry improvements, and several other significant projects identified in the adopted Final Report.
Milestones in the planning process have included design presentations to the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society Board, the Parks & Community Services Board and the City Council. Community meetings were held on Oct. 25, 2007 and Jan. 17, 2008. The environmental review process was completed on Aug. 28, 2008, and a determination of non-significance was issued. The City Council adopted the master plan update on Jan. 5, 2009.