LAKE COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Shortly after announcing it would remain open and become free to the public during the coronavirus pandemic, the Holden Arboretum had to switch gears and shut down.
Holden Forests & Garden said the decision was made with heavy hearts since the ability “to provide access to nature, especially during stressful times like this unprecedented moment, is a gift we wanted, and still would prefer, to provide.”
The Cleveland Botanical Garden also remains closed to members and the general public.
All classes and programs at both campuses are canceled through the end of April.
According to HF&G, Governor Mike DeWine’s latest series of public health mandates caused them to cease normal operations across all facets of the organization.
Only essential staff consisting of a small team of horticulturists, security and police onsite to continue to care for the plants, animals, gardens and trails at both campuses, according to HF&G.
Holden Forests & Gardens President and CEO Jill Koski gave the following statement on the arboretum’s website:
"This is an incredibly challenging and complex time of unknowns. Each day, public health directives get more and more stringent. We are doing the best we can under these conditions that are mandated for the health and safety of everyone, including our staff. Please know that we join you in wanting to re-open our grounds as soon as possible.
We greatly appreciate your understanding as we do our part to protect the safety of our guests, staff, and community at large. Stay healthy and well!"
The Holden Arboretum is a 3,500 acre “outdoor living museum” located in Kirtland.
The grounds feature over 20 miles of trails through forests and gardens. Several spring flower varieties are now in bloom.
While you can no longer stop and smell the flowers, The Holden Arboretum has been posting pictures of them on their Facebook: