Etiquette, Equity and Accessibility
We strive to create Wow, Wonder and Welcome within our team and for the public. We create the Wow factor by being innovative, creative and enthusiastic, embracing all possibilities and celebrating our successes. We generate Wonder by building experiences that are beautiful, colorful, inspire curiosity and encourage our visitors and each other to be engaged in the natural world. We are always inclusive and Welcoming to all by being kind, empathetic and respectful to all individuals and their unique perspectives.
We are committed to overcoming barriers to be the most inclusive organization we can be, where all feel welcome and included, so we can grow together. We are welcoming to all and create an environment free of discrimination and harassment where all individuals are treated with respect.
For Everyone’s Enjoyment, Please:
- Treat each other, employees, volunteers and other visitors with dignity and respect at all times.
- Stay on pathways and mowed lawn areas.
- Do not walk, run or play in mulched or planted garden beds.
- Please leave flowers, plants, seeds and fruit for everyone to enjoy.
- Do not collect or remove seeds, flowers, fruits or vegetables.
- Do not remove plant labels or signage.
- Refrain from bringing any plant material inside the Botanical Gardens to prevent potential contamination of our living collections.
- No music.
- No soliciting. Solicitation Policy - We greatly value the overall visitor experience. In order to provide a distraction-free environment for our visitors, we do not allow solicitation or petitioning of any kind from any outside, non-sanctioned entity on Botanical Gardens property, regardless of the organization or cause being represented. This includes, but is not limited to: the circulation or distribution of literature, brochures, handbills, leaflets, signage, pamphlets, notices, cards, advertising, promotional items, petitions, registrations, etc. Informational tables and booths are not permitted anywhere on our campus unless designated/permitted by our staff for an event. Anyone not in compliance with this policy will be asked to leave the premises.
- For visitor, individual or family photography, please refer to our Photography Policy.
- Wedding and bridal parties must abide by the rules and guidelines outlined in the Photography Policy.
- If a visitor is asked by another person not to take pictures of that person or others accompanying that person, the request must be honored to protect personal rights of privacy. If a picture has already been taken, it must be deleted upon request.
- Please keep your personal items with you at all times. The Botanical Gardens cannot be held responsible for missing items. If you recover an item on the grounds that does not belong to you, please turn it in to the admission desk.
- For their safety, please supervise children at all times.
- No climbing, running, sports, horseplay or games.
- Two-wheeled scooters, “wheelie” shoes, skates or skateboards are not allowed inside the Botanical Gardens.
- Weapons and firearms are not permitted.
- Inappropriate or Offensive Behavior - The rights of other visitors to enjoy the Botanical Gardens must always be respected. The Botanical Gardens reserves the right to ask a visitor to leave for inappropriate or offensive behavior. Visitors will be held liable for any damage to Botanical Gardens property.
Attire and Clothing Changes
- Visitors should be fully clothed and wearing shoes at all times.
- In respect to all Botanical Gardens visitors, patrons wearing articles of clothing that may be taken as profane, vulgar, racist, sexist, or sexually suggestive, including slogans/illustrations, may be asked to change clothing before entering the Botanical Gardens or asked to leave.
- Clothing changes (including those for photography shoots) are not permitted inside or outdoors. To inquire about private event space rental for photoshoots, visit our website for more information.
Animals, Bugs & Wildlife
- No pets allowed.
- Service Animals - Service animals are permitted inside the Botanical Gardens. A service animal is a working animal, not a pet. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service animal as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Dogs that satisfy this definition are considered service animals under the ADA.
- Do not feed or handle any wildlife. It can be harmful to them - and to you.
- Pest Management - The Botanical Gardens is an open-air, living museum with a tropical and humid environment. It is home to insects, fish and thousands of species of plants. Insects are an important and natural part of the ecosystem, however some can be considered pests. We utilize an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program, an effective and sensitive approach, to manage the pest population. IPM utilizes a series of progressive actions to care for the Botanical Gardens’ collection with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM is not a single pest control method but, rather, a series of pest management evaluations, decisions, and controls to reduce damage from insects and diseases.
- Programs & Exhibits - The Botanical Gardens strives to ensure that its collection, facilities, and programming are inclusive and accessible in order to provide a successful and engaging experience for all audiences.
- Education Programs - The Botanical Gardens provides learning opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities. Field trips can be adapted for students with disabilities. When scheduling a school field trip, please notify the Education Department of the learning or physical needs of your students.
- Accessible Field Trips - We also offer discounted field trips for people with disabilities. For more information, or to see if your group qualifies, please contact the Education Department at email@example.com or 716-827-1584 ext. 730.
- Service Agency Memberships - We offer discounted group memberships for human services agencies, nursing homes, group homes and senior homes that include a number of guest passes.
- Personal Care Attendants - The Botanical Gardens offers complimentary admission to required paid and unpaid Personal Care Attendants (PCA) accompanying guests with disabilities during their visit. Required PCAs should identify themselves at the admission desk to receive complimentary admission with a paying guest.
- Mobility Aid Accessibility - Due to the historic nature of the conservatory, some areas may present challenges to those with ambulatory disabilities, however, most areas, including restrooms, are accessible and ADA compliant.
- Wheelchair Availability - A limited number of wheelchairs are available for visitor use. Please request a wheelchair upon arrival at the admissions desk. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Bike Access - The Botanical Gardens is a beautiful resting spot for
cyclists. The Botanical Gardens is a Certified Bike Friendly New York Business and is located along the statewide Erie Canalway Trail. Free bike racks are available. They are located next to the Administration Building and behind the Botanical Gardens.
- Breastfeeding - Breastfeeding is welcome in all areas of the Botanical Gardens. There are no private breastfeeding or lactation areas available at this time.
The Botanical Gardens’ future expansion and Master Plan considers accessibility in all aspects of its design.
- Designated parking spots for people with disabilities are available in our parking lot and behind the Botanical Gardens. A passenger loading zone is available at our back entrance and is accessible via a small road at the end of the parking lot.
- Outdoor - Light collapsible chairs or stools are permitted for artists at work. Please position chairs in a grassy area so walkways remain clear. Do not enter planted or mulched beds. Watercolor artists, please dispose of waste water carefully; do not dispose on walkways, benches, rocks, plants or garden areas, as they can become discolored.
- Indoor - Because of the nature of our space and the narrowness of walkways, indoor artwork is not permitted. For information about our art class offerings, please visit this webpage.
Smoking and Vaping
- The Botanical Gardens is a tobacco-free environment. Smoking, tobacco products and devices and electronic smoking devices are not allowed on the Botanical Gardens’ property, including all buildings, grounds, restrooms and parking lots.
- We care about our planet. Please dispose of waste in appropriate trash and recycle bins. Do not litter.
- Picnicking is allowed on Botanical Gardens’ outdoor grounds.
- Alcohol, grills and open flames are not allowed.
- The Botanical Gardens provides several benches throughout the grounds for resting. Please refrain from lying down on benches, so that other visitors may have a seat. Laying blankets on the grass outdoors is permitted.
Meeting and Gatherings
- Formal/informal groups or parties are not allowed to hold meetings, weddings, memorial services or christenings on our grounds without advanced reservations. Visit this webpage for more information.
Group Visits and Instructor Led Visits
- Non-school classes led by an instructor not officially affiliated with the Botanical Gardens are not permitted. This applies to both for-profit and not-for-profit classes. All school-based groups (including colleges and universities) wishing to hold either a Garden-led or self-guided class must register with us in advance. Visit this webpage for more information. To ensure a quality experience for all visitors, we have established a maximum number of group admissions per hour per day. Early registration will help us reserve your preferred arrival time.
- The Botanical Gardens is a very special place for many. Due to the size of our campus and the nature of our work, scattering or burying ashes on our property is not allowed.
- We encourage the use of Scattering Gardens. Scattering Gardens are becoming more common and are beautiful places to scatter the ashes of a loved one. They are designated and protected areas located within many parks, memorial parks, cemeteries and houses of worship all over the country. They can easily be found by contacting your local house of worship, funeral home or crematory.
- If you are interested in making a specific dedication or tribute in honor or memory of a loved one at the Botanical Gardens, please contact our Development Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716.827.1584 ext. 295 or visit this webpage.
Visit at Your Own Risk
- Visitors to the Botanical Gardens voluntarily assume all risk, loss, damages, liability, and danger for injury or damage to person or property and all hazards arising from or related to admission to the Botanical Gardens. Because the Botanical Gardens is open to the public, visitors grant permission to the Botanical Gardens and its designees to utilize their image, likeness, actions, or statements in any form taken during a visit for the purpose of promoting the Botanical Gardens.