Our Story
Our Story

Our Story

The mission of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants and nature through horticulture, education and research.

A Brief History of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Opened in 2007, our “People’s Garden” invites visitors of all ages and abilities to create and to explore meaningful connections to plants and nature at their own pace. Our journey began in 1991 when a small group of MidCoast residents dreamed of building a world-class public garden on 148 acres of rocky coastal forest that would one day be both an economic engine and cultural anchor for our region. After 16 years of planning, the Gardens opened officially in the summer of 2007.

Since then, the Gardens has become one of Maine’s top attractions and one of the most distinguished botanical destinations in the country. Its exquisite gardens, dramatic and compelling natural landscape—including nearly a mile of tidal saltwater frontage—make it ever-changing, endlessly captivating and thoroughly unique. The Gardens presents limitless potential to inspire learning about natural history, habitats, botany, horticulture and ecological connections.

As the largest botanical garden in New England, the Gardens comprises 295 acres, 17 of which are gardens featuring native plants of Maine and other plants suited to northern coastal conditions. Over 200,000 guests from throughout the United States and 63 foreign countries visited CMBG in 2018.

All of this is only possible thanks to the unhesitating willingness of our founders to use their own homes as collateral. With steadfast commitment to the organization’s vision, these individuals along with hundreds of volunteers established a foundation of insightful planning, helping to make Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens a jewel of rare quality among North American gardens.

Robert Mitchell photo of some of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Founders, bottom left to right: Ernie Egan, Alice West, Donna Phinney, Maggie Rogers. Top row: Greg Bond, Robert Boyd, Rollins Hale

Robert Mitchell photo of some of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Founders, bottom left to right: Ernie Egan, Alice West, Donna Phinney, Maggie Rogers. Top row: Greg Bond, Robert Boyd, Rollins Hale