Olbrich Home Donate to the Olbrich Botanical Society - Learning Center & Greenhouses

Reopening Plan and Health & Safety Measures

Updated August 3, 2020

This webpage will be updated to keep you informed of any changes to Olbrich's services and policies throughout our gradual reopening process.

Outdoor Gardens Now Open to the Public

Hours Limited to 12 - 6 p.m.

Open to the Public Tuesday - Sunday

Member Mondays: Open to Members Only on Mondays

As of June 17, 2020, our 16-acre outdoor gardens are reopened to the public with reduced hours of 12 - 6 p.m. and a limited number of visitors admitted onto the property in order to provide space for physical distancing.

On Mondays, the outdoor gardens are open to Olbrich Members only as a way to say 'Thank You' to our members for supporting us through the challenges of recent months. Interested in becoming a member? Find more information here.

The Growing Gifts Shop is once again open for in-person shopping. The store has a limited capacity and is taking appointments to shop. You can sign up for anytime between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily by phone (608-246-4710) or by email (jkessenich@cityofmadison.com). You can also sign in on the spot during your visit if there's available capacity at that time.

Until comprehensive reopen plans can be implemented for other parts of our facility, the following public spaces at Olbrich remain closed:

  • Bolz Conservatory
  • Schumacher Library
  • Frautschi Family Learning Center

PHOTOS: As a reminder, engagement/senior/family/wedding/maternity/etc. photos require a pre-approved photo permit. The need for a permit is based on what you are doing (using the gardens as a studio/backdrop for posed photography), not who is taking the photos (friend, family, or professional). Limited times are available; please see our Photo Policy webpage for more info. You can download a Photo Permit application here.


Things To Know Before Your Visit

Please be patient with us and know that some of these procedures and guidelines may change as we learn and progress through our reopening process.

Have a question that's not answered below? Read our Reopening FAQ.

Please contact us at 608-246-4550 or olbrichinformation@cityofmadison.com with any further questions.

Stay Home If Sick

Please do not visit if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19.

Physical Distancing

Please keep at least 6' apart at all times from others not in your household.

Face Coverings

As of July 13, 2020, face coverings are required when indoors. (Public Health Madison & Dane County Emergency Order #8)

We strongly encourage the use of face coverings in the outdoor gardens, especially where 6' of physical distance cannot be maintained.

Limited Visitors

To ensure space for physical distancing, the number of visitors admitted into the outdoor gardens will be limited to a maximum number within each 30 minute window throughout the day. Once in the gardens, there is no time limit on your visit, and you may stay for as little or as long as you would like.

Visitors will be counted as they enter the outdoor gardens, and once our maximum is met, visitors who have not yet entered will be asked to wait in a physically distanced line until the next 30 minute window begins and our visitor count reverts to zero.

As time goes on, we hope to gradually increase the maximum number of visitors admitted into the gardens within each 30 minute window.

Garden Paths

While most of the gardens remain open, some paths have been changed to one-way only or closed entirely. Please follow all signage in the gardens and stay on open paths only.


Restrooms are open and available for public use, but will be closed at times for scheduled cleaning and disinfecting.


Please keep time spent in the lobby to a minimum. Unless using the restrooms, please pass directly through when moving between the parking lot and the outdoor gardens.


Drinking fountains have been turned off. Please either bring your own water or purchase a bottled water from the vending machine onsite.

Wheelchairs & Scooters

Wheelchairs & electric scooters are available to check out on a first-come, first-served basis. There may be a wait to use them at times, as they will need to be disinfected after each use.

Tram Service

Tram service will unfortunately be suspended for 2020.


All seating has been removed in the lobby, and some seating has been removed in the outdoor gardens where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Severe Weather

In the event of severe thunderstorm warnings or tornado warnings, Olbrich Botanical Gardens may close to visitors. The facility is unable to provide storm shelters for large numbers of visitors without compromising the ability to maintain physical distancing.


Measures We're Taking to Keep You Safe

One-Way Entry/Exit

Visitors enter and exit the outdoor gardens via a one-way route that minimizes close contact with others not in your household.

Doors Propped Open

Doors leading into the lobby or outdoor gardens will be propped open to provide touchless entry, as will all restroom doors.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizing stations are available for visitor use as they enter and exit the gardens.

Scheduled Cleaning

Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected at scheduled intervals in accordance with CDC and county guidelines. In addition, every other sink and urinal in restrooms will be covered.

Staff Face Coverings

Staff and volunteers are required to wear face coverings in indoor areas that are open to the public. Staff will wear face coverings in the outdoor gardens when physical distancing is not possible.

Floor Decals

In the event a line should form out the front entrance, floor decals have been placed at 10' intervals to help encourage physical distancing.

Protective Barrier

A transparent plastic shield has been added to the front desk to create a barrier between visitors and staff.



Resources & Information:

CDC Coronavirus Webpage

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Coronavirus Webpage

Public Health Madison & Dane County Coronavirus Webpage


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719