The Quad City Botanical Center Foundation (QCBC) was started in 1987 by a group of horticulture enthusiasts. Their vision was to create a center that would be a highly interactive living museum of plants, a destination spot for tourists, an educational haven for elementary to college students and an impressive site on the Mississippi riverfront. The mission of the QCBC Foundation is: To bring people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.
The Quad City Botanical Center offers a main conservatory “Sun Garden” which measures 6,444 square feet and has a ceiling height of 70 feet at the skylight ridge. It displays over 250 different tropical plants representing nearly 100 different countries. They are landscaped around curving walkways, a bridge over a reflecting pond, a 14-foot waterfall, and a tropical rain-forest mural. The plants are all labeled with information including their common name, genus, species, cultivars, family, native, and facts. There is a conifer garden featuring unique and dwarf varieties.
In the summer of 1999, more outdoor gardens were added to the south area. In the summer of 2001, a major new garden, the Scott County Regional Authority Conifer and Perennial Garden was opened to the public. It features over 48 rare and unusual varieties of conifers and hundreds of complementary plantings. The garden acts as a shield from the wind and the urban surroundings, thus transporting visitors far from the urban setting. In 2003 Trinity Health, Scott County Regional Authority, Quad City Home Builders Association, and other companies helped to establish a Physically Challenged Garden near our main entry. In addition to the gardens, the Center building offers a banquet room for meetings and receptions; which can convert into three classrooms. The Center also offers a garden gift shop and horticulture reference library with multimedia and computer access.
The Center’s education department is working with all the schools and colleges in the Quad Cities region and has developed complimentary educational programming for school groups. They are also working with community groups, garden clubs, and university extension agencies to offer programs and other year-round workshop and adult class offerings. Over 6,000 school students participated in educational programs in the 2015-16 school year.
A long-range plan is currently being developed for the outdoor north gardens, located on the 4.5 acres between the center and the recreation/bike trail, which will feature other gardens. The Children’s Garden is planned for the 2 acres west of the main building. In addition two more conservatory display pods will be built adjacent to the east and west ends of the Sun Garden.
The Mission of the Quad City Botanical Center, which will support the Foundation and its mission is: To bring people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.