Botanica has raised more than $1.5 million in donations it was seeking for the Chinese garden that is under construction outside its new event center. Now it is turning its fundraising focus to refurbishing the old Joyland merry-go-round and building a structure to house it.
The opening of the Chinese garden, originally expected this fall, has been pushed back to next spring, Botanica director Marty Miller said Monday.
A Ghoulish Gala on Oct. 24 is one of the ways Botanica is trying to raise an estimated $500,000 for the merry-go-round, which Joyland owner Margaret Nelson Spear donated to the gardens earlier this year. About $100,000 has been raised so far, Miller said.
In addition to building a structure to make the merry-go-round a year-round attraction, Botanica is planning to attach a safe room to it. The Federal Emergency Management Agency gave Botanica a grant for the safe room, and it will be made into a multipurpose room that can be used for such things as parties at the carousel, Miller said.