The planned $13.8 million expansion of Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens has taken a big step forward thanks to a state grant.
A $1.5 million from the Western New York Regional Economic Council will go toward plans to add an addition to the building that will provide more space for exhibits, educational classrooms and events and display a butterfly conservatory. More grow houses, a cafe and expanded visitor and admission areas are also planned.
"We are extremely excited about this," said David Swarts, the Botanical Gardens' CEO. "This support indicates that the state clearly believes our project has merit."
Swarts said he will continue speaking with public and private entities to gain additional support for the project.