BOYLSTON — Tower Hill Botanic Garden CEO Grace Elton has announced that the nonprofit organization plans to re-open its outdoor gardens on June 8 on a limited basis to visitors who pre-purchase entry tickets.
Tower Hill, located in Boylston, Mass., has been closed to the public since March 16 because of the stay at home guidelines issued by the governor’s office regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
In consultation with local public safety officials and following the strict guidelines required by Governor Charlie Baker’s Phase 1 “Start” protocols, Tower Hill will open the outdoor portions of its grounds to the public starting June 8. Visitors will need to acquire pre-purchased tickets from towerhillbg.org (available starting June 1) indicating a scheduled arrival time to be able to enter the property. Guests will be limited to a maximum number of 10 people per group, will be expected to wear masks while on the premises, and will need to stay physically distanced from other visitors.
Indoor facilities – including the conservatories, classrooms, library, Garden Shop, and Farmer & the Fork cafe – will be closed to the public, except access to the bathrooms, which will be frequently disinfected, abutting the Limonaia conservatory. Admission fees will be discounted from regular prices.
“We are grateful to be able to open our grounds to the public so they may enjoy the physical and mental benefits of being close to plants and nature,” said Elton. “Our staff members have been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure visitors can have safe and inspirational experiences in the gardens.”
Tower Hill is taking precautions that include:
- Limiting the number of guests simultaneously on the property by requiring pre-purchased tickets that state the time of arrival.
- Instituting a no touch check in process upon arrival to the property.
- Requiring guests over 2 years old who are able to wear masks on the property.
- Removing chairs in gathering spaces. Guests are welcome to bring their own portable chairs and set them up well distanced from other visitors.
- Requiring personnel to wear masks at all times, to not share tools, and to work physically distant from one another. Having office staff to continue to work remotely through the governor’s Phase 1.
- Frequently disinfecting bathrooms and bathroom entry areas.
The governor’s requirements for botanic gardens to open under Phase 1 are extensive and Tower Hill is strictly following them. The public can view Tower Hill’s response to the state’s checklist of compliance at towerhillbg.org/safety.
Members will be granted access to the property a week before the public and can reserve entry tickets on Tower Hill’s website.
Tower Hill’s 171 acres include formal gardens and several miles of woodland trails, including ample opportunities to stay physically distant while enjoying fresh air, spring flowers blooming, and dramatic views of the landscape.