by Jessica Waytenick •

Address: 2525 4th Avenue in Rock Island, Illinois
Phone: 309-794-0991
Web Site:
Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12-5 p.m. Sunday (Nov.-Mar., they close at 4 pm)
Admission: $5.00 adults; $4.00 seniors; $3.00 youth 5-12 yrs.; $1.00 kids 2-4 yrs.
Media Contact: Beth Peters, 309-794-0991, ext. 30 or
What's New:

  • They are starting work on a new outdoor children’sgarden to be completed in phases with plans for an interactive MississippiRiver, upper Mississippi forest and American Indian areas, agriculture,transportation, and energy stations, eagle outlook, and an education center.

The Quad City Botanical Center in Rock Island, Illinois, is a must see tourist destination for garden and art enthusiasts! This year round tropical garden features a conservatory on the cutting edge of design.

Impressive with its 70-feet tall skylight peak, the Botanical Center's 6,444 square foot Sun Garden conservatory offers a breathtaking tropical paradise. Hundreds of jungle sized palm trees and exotic tropical plants and flowers fill raised garden beds surrounding the curving brick walkways of the year-round Sun Garden conservatory. The Hawaiian island-inspired garden is enhanced by a stunning 14-foot waterfall, reflecting pools teeming with colorful Koi fish, and giant rainforest murals.

Visitors are delighted to see and explore first-hand how their favorite foods are grown and produced, including bananas, coffee, coconut, vanilla, chocolate, ginger, all-spice, perfume, and many others. Plants native to nearly 100 different tropical destinations are part of the conservatory's huge variety and help visitors see the world as a global garden. Rare tropical plants were used in the conservatory and are displayed for their education and economic interest. A guided CD audio tour of the Sun Garden featuring fun facts about the tropical plants is available for a small fee.

In addition, a stunning 20-foot tall rain-forest mural was painted on the east and west walls of the conservatory by Paul Baker of Googleplex, Inc, Evanston, Illinois. He has done backdrop painting for such museums as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.

Special signs were made for all of the plants that show the importance of tropical forests, whether for food, medicine, ornamental beauty or fresh air. Displays of orchids, bromeliads, cycads and ferns are part of the garden. A fog system adds intrigue to many of the plant display areas, while also providing the necessary humidity.

The Sun Garden conservatory connects to the outside gardens, which offer gorgeous seasonal landscapes. Rare and unusual conifers, prairie flowers and plants, ornamental grasses, colorful annuals and unique perennials surround a brick patio and pond. Multi-colored tulips, yellow daffodils, purple muscari and heirloom iris awaken each spring, while summer brings an effusion of birds, blooms and butterflies.

A Physically Challenged Garden was added in 2003. It features garden beds of varying heights, a gazebo and water fountain. Gardeners with physical challenges maintain the garden.

Inside the Quad City Botanical Center, visitors can enjoy nature-inspired changing art exhibitions. They can also peruse the Window Box Gift Shop, which features a fantastic array of garden-related gifts, books, toys, home decor, jewelry, umbrellas and more. The Botanical Center offers a 200-seat banquet room and a 200-seat outdoor garden events canopy. They are both available to rent for private weddings, events, luncheons, dinners, meetings and receptions. A variety of guided tours are available for groups, including Plants of the Bible, Global Harvest, Botanical Bliss, Leaves and Beans, Language of Flowers, and the most popular Chocolate: Food of the Gods.

Various festivals, events, and programs are held throughout the year, including a Chocolate Festival in January, wine tasting in February, Garden Gala in June, a special garden exhibit in July, and the Pumpkin Festival in October.


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