By Annie Ropeik
WDDE/Delaware Public Media, December 10, 2015
The prospective Delaware Botanic Gardens (http://www.delawaregardens.org) has received the first major grant that could help make it a reality within two years.
The Longwood Foundation is giving the nonprofit group that's planning the Sussex County gardens $500,000, plus another $250,000 if the garden can match that half-million dollar gift.
Altogether, says gardens board VP Ray Sander, it's facilitating them raising $1.25 million of the $4.1 million they'll need to open their gates. Before this, he says they never had more than $100,000 on hand.
"Up until now we've just been fooling around with pictures and dreams and sketches," Sander says. "So now we have some money to start moving earth and start making a difference out there."
The gardens are set for a 38-acre parcel of woodlands and uplands along Pepper Creek near Dagsboro.
They'll be designed in part by Piet Oudolf, who crafted the High Line in New York City and other acclaimed gardens around the world. The site will also have a visitors center and outdoor classroom.
Sander says they're aiming to raise the money they need by summer 2017.