There’s more to getting outside than getting sunburned and covered in bug bites.
The 20+ acre Bonhoeffer Botanical Gardens host the Northwest's only completely native botanical garden. The garden includes all of Western Washington's indigenous trees, shrubs, vines and ferns, along with grass, moss, mushroom, pond, flower and ground-cover species within three types of wetlands. The garden is a labor of love to preserve native plants, while serving as an outdoor educational and recreational resource for coming generations. It includes nearly a mile of wheelchair path access.
The 16 kiosks along the path offer shelter from rain, but they offer something so much more valuable -- a home for butterflies. Each kiosk has a roof covered in vegetation that attracts a unique butterfly. The first kiosk is meant to attract Monarchs and has milkweed on its roof so the butterfly can plant its larva. The Two-banded Checkered-Skipper is attracted to the dwarf bilberry and Douglas' knotweed at Kiosk 11. The same forethought is displayed throughout plantings around the kiosks, where specific birds are meant to be attracted.
While the diversity of plantings is spectacular, the showiest of seasons is the spring, when 400,000 narcissus bulbs bloom a carpet of yellow around the feet of the historic, 115-year-old Freeborn Lutheran Church, a fully restored chapel with original fir floors and pews.