People who come to the Botanical Gardens find a kind of serenity here.
“I like the trees, there are a lot of birds here. I’ve been coming here for years,” says Fred Snedeker.
“I mean it’s fantastic for walking, I’m stopping every 50 yards or so looking at the descriptions of the trees and things like that. It keeps it interesting, you don’t get bored of walking,” says first-timer Tim Allen.
“Oh it’s beautiful, it really is,” says Ray Carr.
And in attempts to make Mobile more of a destination city, Mayor Sandy Stimpson has allocated $150,000 from the capital improvement plan to renovate the parking plaza, improve drainage, build fencing, make electrical upgrades and create pedestrian walkways.
“It’s worth it, it’s worth the return because more and more people will come out here,” says Allen.
“The botanical gardens is one of the treasures we have that’s part of the bigger campus at Langan Park and Municipal Park and so I think if you don’t take care of it and you don’t upgrade it, it’s just going to deteriorate,” says Stimpson.
“It’s kind of hidden and not a lot of people know about it,” says Snedeker.
Snedecker says not a lot of people come to the botanical gardens, but on the other hand, he says that’s what’s so appealing about it.
“It’s quiet here, it’s not a lot of traffic, the dogs enjoy it,” says Snedeker.
But some say the mayor may need to do more to entice the masses.
“If he makes it interesting for people to come out here, I hate to say this word, but he’s got to find a gimmick, maybe put together a staff of marketers?” says Allen.
But time will tell if more people decide to come and smell the roses.
“You get things back from supporting nature, that’s all there is to it,” says Allen.
Improvements are set to begin later this year.