LouisvilleKY’s Waterfront Botanical Gardens Receives $1 Million Donation from Sam Shine Foundation

Louisville, KY., – Botanica, Inc. has received a gracious donation of $1 million from the Sam Shine Foundation, a charitable organization founded by area businessman and philanthropist Sam M. Shine, to advance development of the Waterfront Botanical Gardens.

Mr. Shine is founder, president and owner of Samtec, Inc., a $40 million corporation headquartered in New Albany, Indiana, that manufactures electronic connectors. A lifelong New Albany resident, Mr. Shine graduated from Indiana University in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in business, majoring in marketing.

Including the $1 million donation, Botanica has raised $5.7 million for the first phase of the project. In addition to the $5.7 million, Botanica has an endowment of $1.8 million. The total estimated cost of the project is roughly $50 million. Completion of the project will depend on how quickly the remaining funds can be raised.

waterfront botanical gardens

The initial phase will include the Graeser Family Education Center (sponsored by Nancy and Emil Graeser), education gardens (including an edible garden, water filtration garden, pollinator garden and natives garden), a woodlands garden pathway connecting the site to Beargrass Creek, a driveway and 75 parking spaces. This phase of the project will cost an estimated $6.2 million. The Graeser Education Center will include programming space for school students and a 250-person event space. The building is projected to open in Spring 2019.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is scheduled for September 15 at 10 a.m. on the future site of the gardens, located at the intersection of River Road and Frankfort Avenue. Elected officials, religious leaders, students and community supporters are among those expected to attend. The event is free and open to the public.

It was also just announced that Waterfront Botanical Gardens is the recipient of a $375,000 grant from the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet to invest in new and upgraded state-of-the-art pollution controls that will reduce pollution, save energy and protect public health and the environment. This project will focus on sustainable building and environmental education, will provide event space and will impact neighborhood revitalization, tourism and quality of place for the citizens of Louisville and Southern Indiana.

waterfront botanical gardens

Additionally, the Center for Non Profit Excellence has named Waterfront Botanical Gardens as this year’s Pyramid Award winner in the Art of Vision category. The awards will be presented at the Center’s annual conference in October.

Botanica, Inc. is a Louisville non-profit organization that is working to create the Waterfront Botanical Gardens on a 23-acre site at Frankfort Avenue and River Road. The mission of Botanica is to develop experiences that promote appreciation and understanding of plants for a more harmonious and sustainable world.

More information is available at waterfrontgardens.org.