Accessibility for Visitors to the Cleveland Botanical Garden

cleveland botanical garden

The Cleveland Botanical Garden is a great place to visit for the entire family. If you’ve never visited one before, it’s a great way to get familiar with the botanical world in general. Many people don’t realize how much there is to see and learn at one of these gardens. Plus, you can learn a lot about nature while having fun at the same time.

Most Visitors Arrive Here By Car

A close up of a purple flower

One of the first things you’ll want to know before you go to the Cleveland Botanical Garden is that most visitors arrive by car. If you live on the nearby streets of East Boulevard or Street East, you’ll find an underground parking garage on the east side of the street, which will be off-limits to cars. Guests arriving by bike, foot, or public transportation should enter the underground garage directly at the building’s northeast corner. Otherwise, guests arriving by car should take either East Boulevard or Street East south to the building’s northwest corner.

Clay Wall

A close up of a green leaf

Of all the landscaping elements in the Cleveland Botanical Garden that present obstacles to moving through the gardens, perhaps the most frustrating for new visitors is the “clay wall.” At the rear of most buildings facing the gardens, there are large blocks of “clay walls,” which are thick layers of hardened soil. The “clay wall” was constructed when the city tried to conserve water and has since been modified to prevent runoff from the surrounding streets. Rather than water running into the street, it’s diverted into a channel running through the wall. While this doesn’t interfere with visitors’ access to restrooms or other features of the gardens, it does make entering and exiting the buildings difficult.

Using Several Lifts And Elevators

To facilitate guests’ easy entry and removal from their automobiles, the Cleveland Botanical Garden uses several lifts and elevators. However, as guests arrive at their carport, they must exit their vehicles and walk across the lift and elevators to reach the parking garage. It takes time and effort for many people to maneuver these elevators, and in some cases, the effort may be more than they bargained for. If someone is injured while trying to navigate the elevator, the risk of being stuck or trapped entirely increases.

Cleaning Ramp

One other obstacle visitors may encounter when walking between the Cleveland Botanical Garden and the downtown area is the “cleaning ramp.” On either side of the ramp are benches, steps, railings, and cleaning windows for people wishing to use the restroom before or after reaching their carport. As one might expect, the cleaning ramp is not wide enough for a person to wade across with one leg. Suppose a person or several people find themselves in a predicament where they need to use the cleaning ramp. In that case, a larger group size is recommended, especially if the cleaning ramp is part of a larger setup, such as an ADA accessible walkway or another similar setup.

All of the obstacles above can be avoided by taking advantage of Ohio State’s “LEVEL PLUS” program. In 2020, the State of Ohio Department of Transportation and the Columbus Metropolitan Area Transit Authority implemented “LEVEL PLUS” to accommodate outdoor gardens and other public spaces that may have varying degrees of pedestrian traffic. The program is offered in select localities throughout the state. It serves to help Ohio State University students secure advance purchase tickets for buses and other modes of public transportation upon entering the facility.

Final Words

A few requirements can be fulfilled for an Ohio State student to be eligible for advance purchase tickets. One requirement is that the potential guest must be carrying a valid picture I.D., which can be produced by showing the completed driver’s license. In addition to fulfilling the age requirement, the potential guest must also be over eighteen.

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