Welcome to the Mizzou Botanic Garden

Mizzou Botanic Garden’s (MUBG) mission is to serve as a public resource to provide educational opportunities through collections, displays, interpretation and conservation of plants suited to central Missouri. Efforts to fulfill that mission by the staff and Friends of the Garden are in sync with one of MU’s core values: discovery. We strive to accomplish this in a manner which inspires and delights visitors of all ages.


In March, Pete Millier who served as MUBG’s Director for 19 years retired and I took over beginning in April. Having over 30 years’ of experience across the country in groundskeeping, arboriculture and sports turf and looking forward to the challenges and rewards of my new position.


MUBG celebrates its 25th anniversary as a botanic garden beginning in August this year. I hope you will join us for the Friends of the Garden-sponsored celebration on MU’s Traditions Plaza on the Carnahan Quad Tuesday, August 27 from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Eminant traditional fiddler Howard Marshall and friends will provide music and the Friends will serve ice cream from 2:30 to 4 p.m.


MJBG is open for garden visits all day, every day at no charge. Please plan to pay a visit for a relaxing stroll through the campus garden and inspiration about what might thrive in your home landscape.


Garden maps and self-guided Tree Trail maps can help you plan your visit. MUBG scavenger hunts of the gardens,  Tree Trails and Tribute Benches will take you throughout MUBG’s gardens and landscaping.


Our garden programs group has ramped-up MUBG’s tour offerings, and it is now possible to request a tour from the homepage of the website, where you also can read  about MUBG’s Plants of the Month and link to our twice-monthly column in the Columbia Missourian.


In the spring and summer of 2024, we are again offering our Brown Bag Seminar series launched last year in collaboration with like-minded local partners. You can read about and mark your calendars for this year’s Brown Bag Series — how-to programs aimed at ecological garden topics, and also read about last year’s offerings looking at sustainability issues.


Please consider staying abreast of what the garden is up to by becoming a Friend of the Garden and receiving “The Leaflet”, our electronic newsletter.


Established in 1999, MUBG’s roots are in Chancellor Barbara Uehling’s early 1980s vision to “unify and beautify” the campus. These twin goals launched MU’s campus-to-botanic-garden makeover. As such, the Garden also has functioned as a critical tool in recruiting students, faculty and staff; as a demonstration site for important issues in horticulture; and as an outdoor, living laboratory for Mizzou students in plant sciences, engineering, journalism, education and natural resources. We take pride in MUBG’s contributions to the success of the university over the last quarter of a century.


I invite you to read a brief history of our origins and make time to visit Mizzou’s 1,252-acre botanic garden, free and open to the public seven days a week all year long.


Thanks in advance for your support. I look forward to my role as director of the garden, to new partnerships and collaborations and to becoming acquainted and working with members of the MU and Columbia communities.


 Joe Kovolyan



Director of Landscape Services and Mizzou Botanic Garden


P. S. Alumni, friends and organizations wishing to support the Mizzou Botanic Garden's mission and growth may contact the garden at (573)884-6307 or e-mail garden@missouri.edu