COVID-19 Health Emergency Response

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The Gardens are  temporarily CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC 

UPDATE 5.14.20

The Gardens are closed to the public until further notice.  For details read the message below.  

All of our onsite programs and events have been canceled through June 1, 2020, in compliance with the WI Department of Health recommendations. Please check our Calendar for upcoming-virtual programs.  

We will continue to provide updates on our website and our Facebook page as the situation develops.

A Message to our Garden Stewards (5.14.20)

During this time of uncertainty, the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and employees are the highest priorities of Monk Botanical Gardens, as well as caring for our plants and facilities.  Monk Botanical Gardens is recognized as an “urban oasis” in Wausau.  Each year this wild 30-acre piece of land has continued to develop into a beautiful botanical garden.  Volunteers and most recently staff have collectively committed thousands of hours to the development. 

As a private non-profit the financial support from our donors, members, and local foundations has been critical to ensuring the Gardens’ longevity and continued development.  In 2020, we hired our first Horticulture & Grounds Manager, making us a staff of three.  We were on track to host 10,000 visitors, memberships hit an all-time high, environmental education classes were in full swing, and programs serving marginalized communities were growing.  Then on March 23rd, we announced that the Gardens would be temporarily closed due to COVID-19, and at that moment, short- and long-term planning accelerated.  

The Monk Botanical Gardens’ board and staff are currently developing a phased reopening plan with an emphasis on the readiness of the Gardens to protect its visitors and employees.  We must ensure we have all safety measures in place for visitors.  We have a small staff and some volunteers and visitors will be considered to be at a higher health risk.  In addition, as a non-health-related non-profit, we have limited access to some of the personal protection equipment (PPE).  These factors, and others, will affect when and at what capacity we can safely serve our members and visitors.  We will share our phased opening plan to the public by June 1, 2020, after considering our unique circumstances in consultation with guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, the County Health Department, and other expert sources.     

The Gardens is a wonderful place to find respite, solace, and peace in these uncertain times. You can be confident that we will continue to connect people to plants while doing our part to slow the spread, reduce healthcare impacts, and protect our employees, volunteers, members, and visitors.  

What are we doing?
  • Staying up to date with the latest news and guidelines from the CDC and WI Dep. of Health Services and keeping the team informed.
  • All staff are working remotely from home or outside while practicing social distancing. You can still reach staff at 715-261-6309 or
  • Canceling all programs and events through June 1st. Anyone who has registered for a canceled event will be reimbursed immediately. 
  • Developing new programs and events to continue to serve our community in a safe way.  
  • All committees, board, and staff meetings will be held virtually.
  • Some events have been rescheduled to later in the summer.  

How can you help?

  • Stay up to date with the latest news and guidelines from the CDC and WI Dep. of Health Services and keeping the team informed.
  • Avoid contact with others.  Stay home unless getting food or medicine.
  • Keep yourself healthy:  eat, drink water, sleep, and get exercise outdoors (keeping 6 feet of separation).  
  • Wash your hands and clean surfaces frequently.
  • Click here for more information from the CDC on how to keep you, your family, and community safe.

While our usual onsite programs have been canceled we will be rolling out other ways to engage in the Gardens in the coming weeks.  The first is Garden Chat with Marissa, Tuesdays at 12 pm starting April 7th-Air Purifying House Plants

Garden Chat with Marissa, is a live video series that hosts a different garden theme each week. Marissa Ashbeck, Horticulture & Grounds Manager,  will provide you with great information and guidance, while you engage her in questions of your own.   For details of topics and how to watch click here.

To stay up to date on these new programs that you can do from home or on your own at the Gardens, follow our Facebook page or check out our website


Programs Rescheduled

Thank you for your support throughout this challenging time.