Meijer Gardens reports best-ever summer


The Japanese Garden at Meijer Gardens spans eight acres and features a three-acre pond. Photo by Johnny Quirin

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has had its busiest summer season in its 20-year history.

The Grand Rapids attraction said yesterday that it had about 280,000 visitors in total in the months of June, July and August.

Meijer Gardens said the opening of its $22-million Japanese garden after years of construction and the acquisition of "Iron Tree" — a large iron sculpture by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei — were among the reasons for this summer's spike in attendance.

“In this, our 20th year, it is extraordinary to see the development of Meijer Gardens from a regional institution to a cultural organization on the global stage," said Joseph Becherer, chief curator and VP, Meijer Gardens.

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