By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – After safely re-opening to the public mid-June, the Mounts Botanical Garden announced yesterday that it has extended its open hours most days and weekends. This happens amidst statewide surges in COVID-19 cases and County mask mandate.
Mounts Botanical Garden is now open to the public 9AM to 3PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and the Mounts Nursery is now open Tuesday through Saturday, 9AM to 2:30 PM. The Mounts Gift Shop reopens this weekend with a public sale, July 11-16th.
Rochelle Wolberg, Curator Director for Mounts Botanical Garden explains the change. “The Garden usually has earlier hours in the summer, as it is a primarily outdoor exhibit and it gets a lot hotter out there by 11AM.”
She also explained that as a County owned property, there is a very specific and deliberate process for reopening. She confirmed, “we are in Phase 1 ‘heavy’ restrictions, and not even considering Phase 2 at this time.
The reason for staging the open times was to gauge the attendance and impact of reduced hours. The limit is 200 visitors a day, and currently the Garden is receiving 75-80 a day.
In a press release Mount stated that in compliance with county, state and public health department recommendations, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Mounts Botanical Garden has safely implemented new policies and guidelines.
For example, entrance into the Garden continues to be limited to no more than 100 people at a time. Also, social distancing is required throughout the garden and all picnic tables have been removed.
Admission to Mounts has been reduced to $10 (general); $5 (children 5-12), and free for members. Two family-friendly and ecology-conscious exhibitions are still in place at Mounts Botanical Garden.
‘Ribbit the Exhibit‘, which features a collection of larger-than-life frog characters, is expected to remain until mid-July. Also ‘Cutting Corners: A Stickwork Exhibition‘ is a massive, willow sculpture located in the Great Lawn area.
“We are delighted to welcome friends and visitors to Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest botanical garden,” says Wolberg. “Our 14-acre tropical oasis offers 25 stunning display gardens showcasing 2,000 species of plants, and is conveniently located just minutes away from downtown West Palm Beach.”
Mounts Botanical Garden is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest botanical garden and is sponsored in part by The Board of County Commissioners, the Tourist Development Council and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Mounts Botanical Garden is located at 531 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach.