Accessibility

Access for All!

Holden Forests & Gardens strives to be accessible to all people, regardless of age, identity, or ability. We recognize that increased accessibility improves the visitation experiences of all guests and will continue working towards making our spaces accessible and equitable. As we move towards this goal, we ask for your assistance in identifying barriers and your patience as we work to eliminate them.

General Accessibility Considerations

If you have questions about accessibility not answered by the information below, please contact us at [email protected] or by calling the campus you will be visiting.

Cleveland Botanical Garden: 216-721-1600
Holden Arboretum: 440-946-4400 

We value your safety. If you are injured while visiting and require first aid, contact a staff member as soon as possible.

Holden Arboretum Police: 440-478-1291
Cleveland Botanical Garden Security: 216-707-2853
Emergencies: 911

Safety & Security info

Is your question not answered below? Please see our Plan Your Visit page for further details on parking, amenities, and public transit.

Parking

Accessible parking spaces, including our van accessible spaces, are available in the parking bay closest to the Corning Visitor Center. If you wish to park closer to our Canopy Walk and Emergent Tower, we have a limited number of parking spots near the Rhododendron Discovery Garden. To park here, please obtain a parking pass from the guest services desk in the visitor center. For larger events like concerts, all parking is on a first-come, first-served basis at this time.

Terrain

Due to the natural terrain of much of our campus, there are areas that may not be accessible to all. There is an accessible paved path from the visitor’s center to the Murch Canopy Walk which is a good option for seeing many of the Arboretum’s curated gardens.

Restrooms and Amenities

Restrooms are available at the Corning Visitor’s Center and near the Rhododendron Discovery Garden (Open April 1st to November 1st, weather dependent). Restrooms are opened each morning and locked nightly by Holden Arboretum Police. Additional porta-potties may be available during the warm season, please see the current Arboretum map for details.  

A water fountain and bottle filler is available in the Visitor’s Center during business hours and at the Rhododendron Discovery Garden Restroom during its open season (see previous paragraph).  

Structures

Our Canopy Walk is available to those using a mobility aid and can accommodate a width of 36 inches. It has a limit of 50 people at a time. The Canopy Walk is located 0.75 miles from the Visitor’s Center or approximately 1000 feet from the alternate parking area by the Rhododendron Discovery Garden (see Parking, above).  

Our Emergent Tower has 202 steps, separated into four full platforms, seven landings, and two platforms with benches. The stairs are 36” wide by 12.5” deep and include a final spiral staircase to the observation platform. There are 15 steps to 6 landings, 30 steps to 3 platforms. The last set of stairs to the landing before the spiral staircase is 10 steps, and the spiral staircase is 12 steps, for a total of 202.  Due to the height of the structure, it will sway slightly with the wind becoming more noticeable at higher wind speeds. This could affect those with vertigo or balance issues, so take the conditions into consideration when planning your ascent. 

Murch Canopy Walk social story

Kalberer Emergent Tower social story

Is your question not answered below? Please see our Plan Your Visit page for further details on parking, amenities, and public transit. If you wish to avoid peak traffic, consider visiting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays after 11:00 AM. 

Parking and Public Transit

Accessible parking spaces are available on both levels of our parking garage, including 2 van accessible spaces on the first level. 

Terrain

While much of the Botanical Garden is paved, it is important to note a few sections with uneven or graded terrain which may be more challenging to navigate. Please ask at the guest services desk if you have questions about any section of the gardens not addressed here.  

In the Madagascar glasshouse, the hills may be steep for those using wheeled mobility aids. Please use care on the slopes. In the Costa Rica glasshouse, the floor and railings may be wet due to the high humidity and water features present.  

Outdoors, the hill in the Woodland Garden and the slope of the boardwalk may be steep for those using wheeled mobility aids or who need to take breaks on long stretches of hill. Rest points are offered on both, including benches. The stairs leading down to the Japanese Garden, can be bypassed using the boardwalk or the Woodland Garden hill, though the Japanese Garden does not have a paved trail.  

In the Hershey Children’s Garden, some paths are narrow, and some sections of path are sandy soil or gravel. Additionally, the sections of path near the pond may be slippery when wet.  

The boardwalk ramp leading from the Restorative Garden to the Woodland Garden is closed when wet for safety, so please take this into consideration when planning your trip.  

The Hershey Children’s Garden is sometimes closed seasonally. Please see Hershey’s Children Garden page for current information.  

Elevators

There are two elevators in the Garden. The first takes you from the parking garage to the main entrance of the Garden, while the other is in the Costa Rica glasshouse and takes you from the main floor to the second floor, where you can find the observation platform and leave the glasshouse to enter the Perennial Playspace.  

Restrooms and Amenities

Accessible restrooms are available along the Japanese Overlook hallway near the library and on the ellipse, opposite the Garden Store. The restrooms in the ellipse include a single toilet family restroom that is available to all guests. 

A water fountain is located by the restrooms on the ellipse and an additional bottle filler is in the café area. 

Garden Map


Guests with Specific Considerations

If you require accommodations that are not listed below or have questions about accessibility during your visit, please call us or email [email protected]. We are constantly striving to improve our offerings, so please let us know if there is something we’ve missed! 

At both our Arboretum and Botanical Garden campuses, we offer courtesy manual wheelchairs available at the front desk, with ECVs (electric convenience vehicles) available for rent for $20 per day.  

At our Arboretum campus, our regularly scheduled tram tours include an accessible tram, which features a ramp and wheelchair tie-downs. 

Holden Forests & Gardens has partnered with KultureCity® to enhance our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our goal is to provide an inclusive experience for all guests during all events. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing needs by supplying our staff with annual training and by offering the resources and accommodations below to our guests. 

KultureCity® Sensory bags containing special KCVIP badges, a feeling thermometer/communication card, fidget tools, and noise-canceling headphones are available for checkout at the Guest Services desks at both campuses.  

We have also labeled areas of our campus that may be particularly busy, loud, or overwhelming as Headphone Zones and areas that are good places to rest and decompress as Quiet Areas. Keep an eye out for these during your visit or ask Guest Services to find out where these spaces are so you can plan your visit accordingly.  

In addition, we offer advance ticket sale options to help streamline your arrival and social stories to help prepare you for your visit. If you prefer to have the social stories available to you during your visit, you can download the KultureCity mobile app on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.  

Holden Arboretum social story

Cleveland Botanical Garden social story

Murch Canopy Walk social story

Kalberer Emergent Tower social story

Service Animals

If you are assisted by a service animal, your animal is welcome on the premises following ADA guidelines. Service animals will be allowed in all spaces open to the public.  

Aides

If you require the assistance of an aide for your visit, one aide will be admitted with you free of charge.  

Food Allergies 

For information on food allergies, we have provided menu ingredient information from Spice Catering, our partners at Holden Arboretum . At Cleveland Botanical Garden, items are labeled individually—our café staff will be happy to answer any questions during your visit.  

Nursing Parents

A parent is entitled to breastfeed their baby in any of the publicly accessible spaces at either campus. If you would like a private space, the following options are available:  

At Cleveland Botanical Garden, we have a Mamava Lactation pod in the Japanese Overlook hallway, near the restrooms and library. If locked, please download the Mamava app or ask Guest Services for assistance.  

At Holden Arboretum, please see the Guest Services desk if you would like a private space.  

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