Our Mission

Enrich lives & inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world

Our Vision
Olbrich Botanical Gardens will be a locally treasured and globally renowned source of beauty and knowledge celebrating the importance of plants to foster a sustainable world.

Guiding Principles

We are committed to:

  • Accessibility - being easily accessible and welcoming to all
  • Responsible Stewardship - being responsible stewards of finances and resources
  • Climate & Environment Advocacy - environmental sustainability, including our commitment to slow climate change, are critical drivers for our success
  • Partnerships - our partnerships are vital to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, including our associations with the Madison Parks Division, Olbrich Botanical Society, and numerous community organizations
  • Life-long Learning - we believe in touching people's lives at every stage with the importance of plants and nature


Olbrich Botanical Gardens aspires to be a destination where all visitors, volunteers, and staff are valued and feel they belong. With conscious intent and continuous learning, Olbrich Botanical Gardens' staff, volunteers, and board will address barriers to inclusion through education, operational changes, and partnerships with the community.

People Make Our Gardens Special

Olbrich at a Glance


visitors each year


lbs of produce donated to food pantries from the Children’s Kitchen Garden


people learned about conservation efforts and the life cycle of butterflies during the Blooming Butterflies exhibit

Planted at Olbrich

per year








Ornamental Grasses





Land Acknowledgment

Ho-Chunk oral tradition states “we have always been here.” Despite colonial invasion, genocide, and forced removal, the Ho-Chunk have since time immemorial been the gardeners and protectors of this sacred land, Teejop (day-JOPE), on which Olbrich Botanical Gardens now resides. Olbrich acknowledges the sovereignty of all people who have a historic connection to this land, who have and will always be here, and honors their legacy of sustainably cultivating the land so that it can be enjoyed and gardened for generations to come.

Our History

Olbrich Botanical Gardens sprouted from the vision of one man - Madison attorney Michael B. Olbrich, who, in 1921, purchased land near Lake Monona for the development of a park and flower garden. That same year, in partnership with the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association, the City of Madison took title of this land, which would later be named "Olbrich Park" in honor of its founder.

Garden Awards

Over the years, Olbrich and its staff have received accolades that reflect both its thought leadership in the public garden world and its good standing in the local community.

Community Partnerships & Collaborations

Olbrich accepts proposals from community organizations and individuals who wish to partner with us on a project or initiative, especially those that embody our own mission or align with our values.