Skip navigation links

150 Years of Connecting People, Plants, and Place

In 2023, the Garden celebrates its sesquicentennial—that’s 150 years of learning, discovering, and making lasting memories! Celebrate with us at one of our upcoming events, join us for a free garden tour, or take a self-guided tour and check out our newest additions. Don't forget to share your favorite garden memories and photos with us for a chance to be featured on social media and our website. We'll see you in the garden!

Read a congratulation letter from Governor Gretchen Whitmer for our 150th anniversary!

Watch a congratulatory video from Sen. Debbie Stabenow for our 150th anniversary!

Watch a well wishes video from Rep. Elissa Slotkin!

150th Anniversary Festival

September 13, 2023
Location: Beal Botanical Garden
Time: 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Join us in Beal Botanical Garden for a day full of celebratory festivities! We have plans for family activities, games, tours and education programs, art performances, and more!

Help us spread the word! Print an event flyer to post in your community or business!
Anniversary Festival Flyer - full page
Anniversary Festival Flyer - quarter page

Schedule of the Day

3:00 p.m. - Celebration activities, games, tours and educational programs, art performances, and more!
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Enjoy our signature MSU Dairy Store ice cream flavor, Berry Botanical, while supplies last!
3:00 - 4:45 p.m. - Help us plant 150 native plants along the banks of the Red Cedar River. 150 participants will receive a chocolate from Oh Mi Organics.
4:00 - 4:45 p.m. - Visit from Sparty!
5:00 p.m. - Commemorative tree planting in the garden with remarks by Interim Pres. Woodruff and other VIPs
5:30 p.m. - Prize drawing and Food (Picnic food truck)
6:00 p.m. - String quartet performance

Thank you to our partners!
Broad Art Museum
Canines for Change
Environmental Studies & Sustainability United
Mindful State
MSU Athletics
MSU Bug House
MSU College of Music
MSU Dairy Store
MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities
MSU Herbarium
MSU Horticulture Gardens/4-H Children's Gardens
MSU Museum
MSU Radiology Healing Gardens
MSU Recreational Sports and Fitness
MSU Recycling
Oh Mi Organics
Two Green Thumbs, LLC
Wharton Center for Performing Arts

 collage of colorful pole banners, Beal Botanical Garden 150th anniversary logo in center

Beal Botanical Garden Sesquicentennial: 150 Years of Research and Accomplishments - MSU Libraries

Exhibit located on the first floor of the MSU Main Library, Main Gallery, 366 W. Circle Dr., East Lansing, MI, 48824
Beal Botanical Garden Sesquicentennial: 150 Years of Research and Accomplishments celebrates the history of the oldest continuously operated university garden in the United States. A bountiful collection of materials on display honors pioneer botanist William James Beal’s vision of a botanical garden, and visitors will be delighted to see examples of the learning, enjoyment and accomplishments that have grown from it since 1873. Exhibit runs through September 7, 2023.

Exhibit description

Beal Botanical Garden: Connecting people, plants, and place for 150 years - Broad Art Museum

Exhibit located at the Broad Art Museum, 547 E. Circle Dr., East Lansing, MI, 48824

Discover how this living laboratory has become a beloved spot in the heart of our campus. The garden has evolved over time, but the ways 
people engage with it remain the same – it is a place to learn, a place to relax, a place to grow. Listen to stories of visitors as they recount how the garden has come to have a special place in their hearts. The past connects to the present and leads to our future as we reflect on the interconnectedness of people, plants, and place. Duration: September 8 - December 17, 2023

Then and Now Historical Photo Gallery

Is this the same garden? Visit our historical photo gallery to see side-by-side photos of different areas of the garden. The present-day photos were taken from approximately the same angle as the historical images to give you a comparison through time.

Photo Gallery 

A Walk Through Time

Over the past 150 years, the garden has seen many changes. Our garden history timeline highlights some of the events that have shaped the garden into what it is today. See what we have accomplished, how far we have come, and look forward to what lies ahead.

Garden History

two historical color postcards of the garden


150 years of Memories Made in The Garden

As we celebrate our sesquicentennial this year, we want to hear from you! What are your favorite memories you’ve made in The Garden? Send your stories and photos to to be featured on our website, socials and anniversary events. The Garden as seen a lot of evolution throughout the years so please include the date, if possible.