The George Washington Carver Garden at Missouri Botanical Garden. Photo — Asueleni Deloney

All three garden sites, special activities available

The Missouri Botanical Garden will offer free admission to all visitors on Sunday, June 19 in honor of Juneteenth. Visitors can spend a restful and restorative day in the Garden and partake in special activities planned for the day. 

Admission to the Children’s Garden will also be free for the day. Visitors to the Children’s Garden will receive an okra plug for a “pot-a-plant” activity while supplies last. Okra has strong ties to the African American experience. It was brought to America through the transatlantic slave route, likely as provisions for enslaved people. It is one of the few crops from Africa that could grow in the American climate. It is still used abundantly in Southern cuisine, one of the hallmarks of African diaspora in American cooking.  

Aerial view of the Carver Garden. Photo — Cassidy Moody

Dr. Jessica Harris, acclaimed author and featured guest on the Netflix series High on the Hog, talks about the history of okra and other important foods in the African American community in her presentation “The History is on the Plate: Deconstructing African American Food History.” Harris gave this free virtual presentation for the Garden in February. A recording of the presentation will be played in the Garden’s PlantLab from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 19. 

The Garden will also share an interpretive visitor guide highlighting significant contributions of African Americans to advance botanical science throughout history. The guide will also offer opportunities for onsite exploration at the Garden, self-reflection, nature journaling, and meditation. Visitors are invited to explore the George Washington Carver Garden, dedicated to Missouri-native scientist Dr. George Washington Carver who greatly influenced 19th and 20th century agriculture and education.

Admission will also be free for all visitors at the Butterfly House in Chesterfield and Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit on Sunday, June 19. The Butterfly House will screen a film created by the University of Wisconsin-Madison that celebrates historic Black entomologists throughout the day. 


The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environment in order to preserve and enrich life.” Today, 163 years after opening, the Missouri Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science, conservation, education and horticultural display.