The Monk Botanical Public Gardens: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where are the Monk Botanical Gardens? At the end of North First Avenue on Wausau’s west side, near the intersection of North First Avenue and Campus Drive. The site address is 1800 N. First Ave.
  2. How did the Gardens come into being? The land was donated in 2004 by the Robert W. Monk family, who had the vision of a community botanical garden.
  3. How big are the Gardens? Just over 27 acres.
  4. What’s there? A pleasant collection of woods, fields, trails, flowers, and a pond. Possibility is here as well and the Gardens board of directors is working hard to make a true botanical garden become reality.
  5. How do the Gardens benefit the quality of life in community? As phases of the Gardens are completed, they are an ideal venue for educating students, youth, and adults alike about plants, nature and the environment. The Gardens are a great place for family visits, picnics, and other gatherings. Plus the Gardens continue to draw people to the Wausau area, and are one of the highlights of their visit here.
  6. When are the Gardens open? From dawn to dusk, in all seasons.
  7. The gate looks locked; is it? No. The gate is latched because we’ve fenced the area to keep deer out.  Deer could destroy some of the plantings and trees.  The gate will be locked during closing hours dusk to dawn. 
  8. Does it cost anything to visit? No. When the Gardens become fully developed we anticipate charging an admission fee. Meantime, contributions and donations are appreciated.
  9. How are the Gardens managed? The Garden’s Board of Directors, consisting of community leaders and garden lovers, and a small staff,  is responsible for managing the garden and helping the community realize the dream of a first-rate botanical garden in Central Wisconsin.
  10. What kind of public support do the Gardens have? Even though the Gardens are in the seminal stage, public support has been amazing. Much has already been donated—over $1 million in contributions and in kind donations including the fence, the gazebo, the storage shed, hundreds of memorial trees and benches, the Wildflower Woods and Memory Garden, the Treehouse, the Meditation Garden, the Kitchen Garden and “Potager”—Kitchen Garden Pavilion. In addition, we have launched a “paver” program, so that individuals, families, corporations and organizations can have their names and messages engraved permanently on garden pavers.
  11. How can I participate or support the Gardens? In many ways. We need volunteers to help staff our events and support our community workdays. Many folks belong as members, their dues helping us with operating expenses. Others serve on our various committees. Contributions from area foundations and businesses, individuals and families, are helping us meet our capital needs as we develop the Gardens. Visit our donation or volunteer pages to learn more.