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Erie County commits $2.5 million to Botanical Gardens expansion

The planned expansion includes new greenhouses, classrooms and even a butterfly conservatory.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — There's more momentum for a big plan to expand the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

"We've outgrown this space and we need to be thinking about the future" said Erie County Botanical Gardens President David Swarts. "So, this historic and architectural treasure survives for future generations."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced Thursday that the county will commit $2.5 million for the project.

The planned expansion includes new greenhouses and even a butterfly conservatory.

"A new admission area, gift shop, brand new classrooms, event space, a cafe, a butterfly gallery, exhibit space and grow space" said Swarts.

"The people decades ago invested in this facility so that people not only then could enjoy it, but we cold enjoy it today. And we have an obligation as stewards of this facility to do the same thing not only today but for the future," said Poloncarz.

After the commitment, the gardens are more than halfway to their $14 million goal for the expansion.

"All of these are necessary in order to ensure long term survival of the Botanical Gardens" said Swarts.

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