On April 20, 2015, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park observed its 20th anniversary. The past 20 years have produced innumerable, remarkable moments. Here, we share five more of the most memorable moments in our 20-year history:
September 11, 2002: Jimmy Carter Visits On the first anniversary of September 11, former President Jimmy Carter toured the grounds with Fred Meijer. The serenity, beauty and welcoming atmosphere left former President Carter refreshed, encouraged and inspired; a stark contrast to the events of the prior year. Upon his departure, he called Meijer Gardens a “national treasure.”
May 17, 2003: Michigan’s Farm Garden Opens Michigan’s Farm Garden opens allowing visitors to experience heirloom vegetable gardens, orchards and farm animal sculptures in a whimsical barnyard setting. It includes a three-quarter-scale replica of Lena Meijer’s childhood home and a 100-year-old barn, and roses from Lena’s garden. Fred & Lena led the procession on a borrowed, vintage tractor.
June 6, 2003: Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater The Amphitheater Garden opens with a performance by Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy and on June 15 the Fifth Third Bank Summer Concert Series began with a performance by Art Garfunkel. It has since become the most anticipated summer concert series in West Michigan. The terraced lawn seating, spectacular views of gardens and sculptures, and lively acoustics create an intimate concert setting for guests of all ages.
June 20, 2004: Lena Meijer Children’s Garden Children are invited and encouraged to play, learn and explore using all five senses making the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden one of the most interactive children’s gardens in the nation. Attendance increased more than 65% in the months following its opening ̶ June through September ̶ compared to the previous year.
Various Years: Presidential and First Lady Visits Several former presidents and first ladies have visited Meijer Gardens including President and Mrs. Ford, President and Mrs. Carter and Lady Bird Johnson, shown here with Fred and Lena Meijer.