Meijer Gardens Lands Travel Award

June 5, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS — Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a “must-see” venue for more than just West Michigan residents.

The Midwest Travel Writers Association (MTWA) last week presented Meijer Gardens with its GEMmy Award, which is presented to attractions, historic sites and accommodations that exemplify top-notch travel experiences.

Mike Michaelson, a Chicago-based syndicated travel writer who currently serves as vice president of MTWA, presented the award to Brent Dennis, executive director of the gardens.

“Frederik Meijer Gardens, with is signature sculpture of Leonardo da Vinci’s Horse, has become one of the Midwest’s premier botanical gardens,” Michaelson said. “Although only in existence for six years — an infant in terms of botanical gardens — it already has undergone an expansion that more than doubled its size. Frederik Meijer Gardens also hosts and mounts prestigious exhibitions. For example, its annual ‘Foremost’s Butterflies Are Blooming’ show has the distinction of being the largest temporary butterfly exhibition in the U.S.”

Meijer Gardens is the first Michigan attraction to win the award from MTWA.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by the Midwest Travel Writers Association as a top travel destination and the only Michigan attraction to be recognized in the nine years since the award’s inception,” said Dennis.

“With our new master plan for future development of our 125 acres, including the dedication of the Meijer Sculpture Park this fall, we are moving to become one of the top 10 cultural attractions in the Midwest.”

Past recipients include The Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Toy & Miniature Museum in Kansas City, Mo.; Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens in California; and Banff Centre, in Banff, Canada.

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