Botanical Gardens is reopening; early access to members July 8

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens entrance with sun and clouds
Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens will reopen to the public on July 15, with early access to members on Wednesday, July 8.

The reopening plan is organized into three phases:

  • Phase One: Initial, many restrictions
  • Phase Two: Modified, some restrictions lifted
  • Phase Three: New Normal operations.

Pre-purchased e-tickets are recommended for the foreseeable future.  

Phase One

Phase One of opening is planned to run for four weeks.

The first week, starting Wednesday, July 8, is open to members only. Members will buy reserved, timed e-tickets for the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Early access will be available to high-risk members from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. 

The second week will be the same as the first, but people who aren’t members may also visit.

Weeks three and four will follow the same hours of operation, however, timed admission tickets will be available at the door if capacity has not been reached at the time of purchase.

Safety etiquette

Visitors and staff must follow the Botanical Gardens’ safety etiquette guidelines. Individuals not following these guidelines will be asked to leave the Botanical Gardens in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s New York State Executive Order.  

Visitors must:

  • Wear face coverings at all times when inside all Botanical Gardens’ buildings and when safe social distancing cannot be maintained outside. Children 2 and under are not required to wear a face covering.
  • Wash their hands and utilize hand sanitizing stations.  
  • Maintain six-foot social distancing from others.
  • Follow the one-way path that has been established through the Botanical Gardens.
  • Limit touching surfaces and plants.

Extra precautions

Extra precautions include:

  • Partitions between visitors and staff have been installed at the admission counters and in the Gift Shop.
  • A set, one-way direction of foot traffic through the Botanical Gardens has been established for visitors.
  • Signage was installed to remind visitors of their Safety Etiquette Guidelines.
  • Only one entrance and exit–the front entrance–will be designated for public use.
  • Every other sink and stall in the restrooms will be closed.
  • Some tables and chairs have been removed from inside the conservatory.  
  • Brochures and literature were removed from the admission areas to limit touching.  

Restrictions

There will be limited indoor seating and congregating should be avoided.

The following amenities won’t be available during Phase One:

  • The rear entrance
  • Wegmans Family Garden
  • Outdoor Children’s Garden
  • Drinking fountain (visitors are encouraged to bring their own water in a reusable container)
  • Gift Shop (closed for only the first week)
  • Wheelchair borrowing
  • Audio tours
  • Coat racks 

Cleaning

Cleaning and sanitizing are a top priority, and the Botanical Gardens is following the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

  • Touchable surfaces, with particular attention given to high-touch areas, will be cleaned and sanitized with a CDC-approved cleaner/disinfectant several times per day including but not limited to: before the Botanical Gardens opens to the public, at mid-day and at the close of business.
  • Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed throughout the Botanical Gardens.
  • Signage will be placed throughout the Botanical Gardens to remind visitors to wash their hands often, use the sanitizer dispensers, avoid touching surfaces and plants, wear face coverings and maintain safe social distancing.

The leadership and staff at the Botanical Gardens is monitoring the situation closely and following the recommendations and guidelines set forth by New York State and the CDC.  They have also made a pledge to the Buffalo Cares: Stay Safe Pledge through Visit Buffalo Niagara. It is a shared commitment between local hospitality and tourism organizations to take precautions to keep everyone stay safe.

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