Frequently Asked Questions about the Garden

When is the Garden open for visitors?

You may park in the upper parking lot and enjoy the Garden from dawn to dusk. The lower parking lot is generally 10 a.m. to 6:30 in October, 10 a.m-4 p.m. during Eastern Standard Time in the fall and winter months, and 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the spring and summer (closing time will be posted on site). The lower parking lot is also open during special programs or events. Admission is free, but a $5 donation per adult is suggested.

How large is the site?

The entire site is 85 wooded acres. This includes all of the areas encompassed by the gravel walkway as well as the forested area. The former Tibbs Run Reservoir, early water supply for Morgantown, was located in the basin now encircled by the Reservoir Loop Trail.

Who owns the WVBG?

The West Virginia Botanic Garden, Inc. is a non-profit organization. The organization leases the property from the City of Morgantown and is responsible for management of the property. The organization sometimes receives some funding from the City of Morgantown and the Monongalia County Commission, but relies heavily on public contributions. Donation boxes are located at the kiosk in the lower parking lot and inside the Education and Event Center. Donations can also be made online.

How can I help this Garden grow?

Become a member. Be a volunteer. Complete an online application or email Make a donation online or in the donation boxes at the lower parking lot kiosk or inside the Education and Event Center.

What are the benefits of being a member?
Your membership fee contributes to the maintenance of the existing Garden and its future development. Members receive newsletters, invitations to special events, free admission to 300 other Gardens, and discounted fees for some activities. Visit our membership page for more information.
How many trails are there, and how long are they?
There are seven marked trails, each less than a mile long, and a wetland boardwalk. All are loop trails and connect to other trails, enabling you to make your walk as long or short as you would like. See full trail descriptions.
What are the gun shots that I am hearing?

The Mason Dixon Rifle Club is adjacent to the WVBG property on the Wetland/Boardwalk side. The targets are in the opposite direction of the Garden and there is no risk of stray bullets. During hunting season, people do hunt on properties surrounding the WVBG. Be sure to stay on designated blazed trails at all times. See the Mason Dixon Rifle Club’s online calendar for regularly scheduled events.

May I bring my dog here?
Dogs are allowed on a leash and must be under your control at all times. Please be courteous to others and pick up pet waste. Pet Waste Stations have been installed in the upper and lower parking lots and at the Imperial East entrance.
May I picnic here?
You are welcome to have a picnic here, but we currently do not have picnic facilities. There are no tables, shelters, or trash receptacles. Please take all trash out with you.
May I have my wedding here?

Yes, both outdoor areas and the Terrace at Tibbs Run are available for event rentals. Please contact the WVBG staff at 304-322-2093 or email for more information.

May I have professional photos taken here?

Yes, but a permit is required. This is a beautiful place to have photos taken as long as this does not interfere with other scheduled Garden events. Permit fees to help cover maintenance and operations of the Gardens.  Learn more.

May I ride my bike here?

No, the trails are only for walking, running, or cross-country skiing when the Reservoir Loop Trail is sufficiently covered in snow. Please leave your bike in the bike racks in the upper parking lot or at the Imperial East entrance, or walk your bike in and out of the Garden.

May I push a stroller here?
Yes, you may push a stroller on the gravel paths (only). Please leave enough room on the path for others to pass by.
May I hunt, fish, or collect plants here?
No. Respect Mother Nature and do not remove any flowers or plants. A controlled hunt occurs in late September to regulate the local deer population. Please contact WVBG staff at 304-322-2093 or for more information.
May I bring an organization or group here for a tour?
Absolutely, please see details or email to make arrangements for this visit.
Can I use the Education Center or the Terrace for meetings?

Yes, rentals for private events are available.   See the meeting rental page for details.

What was the bird sculpture near the Butterfly Garden? What happened to it?

Sylvia was a red tailed hawk ecosculpture created in 2014 by Ben Gazsi, a previous student at WVU, who has also created some
sculptures for Cooper’s Rock State Park. Silvia is an Italian female given name of Latin origin, with English-language cognate Sylvia. The name originates from the Latin word for forest, Silva, which means spirit of the wood.

Silva lost her battle with the harmful elements of Mother Nature and was returned to the forest floor in March 2019.


What are the metal insect sculptures around the site?

A queen bee, a caterpillar, a butterfly, and a lady bug were created by Michael Loop for the Hammock Haven fundraising event in 2016. He is the Museum Preparatory at WVU Museum of Art.

What are the piles of rocks I see around the Reservoir Basin?
While visiting the Botanic Garden you may notice random stacked stones a varying sizes and shapes in fields or along paths.

Cairns, as they are known by, have been used for a variety of different purposes for several millennia. Today, cairns are most commonly used as trail markers in many parts of the world and are important for navigation in more barren remote regions where cell service and other natural landmarks are scarce. Many national parks and wilderness areas frown upon the construction of random cairns because they may misguide hikers or take away from the natural essence of a landscape.

At the West Virginia Botanic Garden we see cairns as evolving art pieces. When one falls, another one takes its place.

Who created the old man in the tree along the Reservoir Loop Trail near the Wetlands?
George Longenecker, a founding father of the Garden, allowed one of the trail blazers, John Fichner, to carve that figure in the tree with his chainsaw.
What is the wood used on the floor in the Education Center?


Why is it called the 'botanic' and not the 'botanical' garden?
Either term is correct, and one of the founders, George Longenecker, chose the shorter form.
What is the story behind the blue pole near the Secret Garden?
This pole was installed on May 26, 2016 by Local Girl Scout Troop 54526 as part of the Peace Pole Project.  It is inscribed with the words, “May peace prevail on earth.”
When is the Fall Children's Festival?
The festival typically takes place in early October, check the Events page, Facebook account, or local events calendars for posting.
What is the Bluebird Trail?

Wild Birds Unlimited of Morgantown donated eight eastern bluebird houses to maintain the bluebird population in the area.  You will see the birdhouses mounted on 4×4 poles along the Reservoir Loop Trail.

Why is the Education Center never open?

Original plans for the building included a Welcome Center open to the public for regularly scheduled hours, but the building currently functions as an administrative building, a place for events, and an educational center.  The name was changed in 2018 to the Education and Event Center, as a more accurate representation of its function.

Where do I park?
It depends on white time of day you are visiting the Garden.  Find out more.
How do I know if an event has been cancelled?
Visit our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information about classes and workshops.  If you pre-register for an event, you will receive an email in the event of cancellation.
Are daily tours offered?
Not at this time, but you can schedule a group tour.
Where are the restrooms?
There are two public restrooms in the lower level of the Education and Event Center.  One is handicapped accessible, and one has a diaper changing station.
Is there a water fountain on site?

A water fountain is available next to the public restrooms in the lower level of the Education and Event Center.

What happened to the WVU solar house?

About ten years ago, some wood science students at WVU built a solar powered “cabin” for a contest held in CA. After the contest, they brought the project back to WVU and offered it to WVBG for free. The parts were transported in trailers to the Garden where they sat for a long period of time while planning for the construction took place. Thanks to the cooperation of March-Westin the construction began with the idea of building a solar building for the Garden. The Education and Event Center started as a solar powered cabin and was expanded into the current building. Only about 35% of the materials stored in the trailers was still viable for use in the EEC. 

Additional Questions?


Contact Us

Phone: 304-322-2093

Mailing Address: 714 Venture Drive, PMB 121, Morgantown, WV 26508


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