Clovis Botanical Garden: A Perfect Place To Spend Earth Day or Any Day!

Apr 22, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Community, Going Green, Kathy Eide Casas

by Kathy Eide Casas

“An oasis we can be proud of,” neighbor and longtime Clovis City Council member Drew Bessinger on describing the essence of the Clovis Botanical Garden. “I can walk out of my back fence and find it along the trail in about three minutes.” What a jewel for Clovis!

Infamous Poppy sign

Welcome to a garden like no other! Nestled in the community of Clovis, located on Clovis Avenue between Alluvial and Nees, this unique haven is operated solely by volunteers, all while maintaining free admission. Easily described as a mission of passion, love and dedication, the Clovis Botanical Garden brings together all with a shared goal of nature, beauty, education, and water conservation.

How it started … How it’s going

How it started

From years past to today

What began as a seedling of an idea twenty years ago has now grown into the current four acre site where ideas, education, plants, and trees continue to grow. In 1993, Clovis resident Gordon Russell took his idea about a botanical garden to the Clovis City Council. There was nothing of its kind anywhere in between San Francisco and Los Angeles which made the Central Valley the perfect spot. Russell decided he wanted to add a botanical garden to Clovis, and he certainly did! Within a year’s time, the Board of Directors was formed, non-profit status was granted, a site was found and approved, and a one-acre site was born.

Fast forward to 2002 … ground was broken while the first tree, a Valley Oak, was planted. This majestic oak is aptly named the Freedom Tree to commemorate 9/11 while paying tribute to the heroes and victims of that day. In 2004, the garden was officially opened to the public. Popularity rose quickly, and an increase in visitors and requests for tours was robust. A plan for expanding to its current four-acre garden was proposed in 2008. When Dry Creek Park was completed in 2009, the entrance was moved from Clovis Ave to provide easy access to parking and accommodate its ever growing presence. Currently, the Garden shares parking with Dry Creek Park, another popular destination. In 2012, representatives of the Botanical Garden went to the City of Clovis and proposed an expansion from one acre of land to four acres, and the first plants in the newly expanded areas were planted.

How it’s going

Children’s Garden

Today, visitors can enjoy a three-acre demonstration garden with drought-resistant plants, information center, gift shop, event and gathering spot, and tours. Bessinger credits his friend Patricia Wynne, a past Councilmember and current Vice President of the Garden’s Board, and emphasized, “My friend, former Councilmember Pat Wynne, and her horticultural compatriots have created an oasis we can be proud of. The garden showcases local fauna, succulents, and trees that we can all grow with a focus on drought tolerant plants; that is especially important given the mercurial nature of our weather. I have tried, fairly successfully, to replicate the efforts of the scores of amazingly dedicated volunteers in my own yard. The sweat equity of our fellow citizens has created a true gem right here in our little city!”

There is so much more on the horizon for the Clovis Botanical Garden, including adding an Ornamental Grass display and a permanent visitor center, designed by award-winning architect Art Dyson.

To learn more about all that the Clovis Botanical Garden has to offer, including events, tours, volunteer opportunities, plant sales, the Garden Map, the Trees of the Garden, the Cactus Garden, The Children’s Garden, and the unique Sensory Garden, which provides avenues to heighten awareness or achieve calm, please visit

Kathy Eide Casas is a valley native and has been involved in politics, public policy and public relations her entire career. From the U. S. and state capitols to local projects, she has been a guiding force. Most recently, Eide-Casas completed the writing for two U Turns Allowed magazines, benefiting Focus Forward. Additionally, her work has run in several other local publications, including Valley Health Magazine.


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