August 7, 2018

Welcome from the Foundation President

Welcome to the website where you can discover everything you need to know about the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Foundation! As president, I invite you to explore all the powerful ways in which you can learn about and contribute to our Foundation, and in doing so, help grow and preserve what is a masterpiece of the dynamic culture infused in Grand Rapids and beyond.

For nearly 30 years, I’ve been privileged to contribute to that fabric through both business endeavors and as an ally of many organizations that make West Michigan a special place to both work and play. But nothing has touched my heart like Meijer Gardens, which annually lures upwards of 800,000 through its gates and into a vast wonderland of internationally recognized horticulture and sculpture.

One visit and, believe me, you’ll be hooked! And that’s because this incredible attraction – visited by people from all corners of our globe – was founded in a very deliberate and purposeful way.

Our primary task as a Foundation is to make sure this incredible masterpiece continues to function and grow for generations to come. That it requires an ongoing revenue stream is a given. But I’d like you to know exactly how our funds are appropriated:

  • Roughly 20 percent of the annual operating expenses of the Gardens are covered by Foundation contributions.
  • We spend only about 1 percent of our annual revenues on administrative costs, thanks in large part to the generous support of the Meijer Corporation. That means roughly 99 percent of your donation goes directly to Meijer Gardens, a figure most other not-for-profits can’t touch!
  • Last year alone, the Foundation’s investments yielded a return of nearly 18 percent.
  • So dedicated is the Foundation to the Gardens, that it was actually instituted before the Gardens came to be!

As you embark on a voyage to discover how you might become personally involved in the Foundation, I encourage you to consider that no matter the level at which you might contribute, you’re forging a legacy that can be handed down in a generational way. Your gifts will grow and bloom forever.

Many of our supporters have convinced their children and grandchildren to follow in their footsteps, creating an enduring lifeline designed to help see the Gardens into perpetuity.

There are more than a handful of ways to establish and grow your legacy, including becoming a member of our Bonsai Society or Perennial Society. To discover more, I invite you to click your way through the other pages that offer choice and direction.

Thank-you for taking the time to help us spread awareness and celebrate the vision that took seed so many years ago, and deserves to blossom in new and vibrant ways for many decades to come!


John Baab,
President Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation