Stories like this really make you feel ashamed that you haven't turned your backyard, which probably ISN'T a garbage pit, into a beautiful landscape.

But that's the reality at the Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Here is the origin story of this unique garden as explained on their website:

In 1988, the original site between Lions Beach and Kiwanis Pond was covered with debris and used as storage for the Parks Department and a BMX bicycle racetrack. The Gardens’ founder and original visionary, retired orthodontist Dr. Robert Yahr, approached the two Rotary Clubs in Janesville and inquired about their interest in developing a botanical garden for the community to enjoy. Both clubs agreed to this service project. Dr. Yahr’s original idea was to clean up the pond and surrounding area as a club project, but his imagination began to soar and the result was an ambitious new project for Janesville Rotarians.

The spot of land went from looking like this:

Rotarybotanicalgardens.org
Rotarybotanicalgardens.org
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To this beautiful landscape:

Tripadvisor / goodtimesmitty
Tripadvisor / goodtimesmitty
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Tripadvisor / attiPzombienic
Tripadvisor / attiPzombienic
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Tripadvisor / in50by50
Tripadvisor / in50by50
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Facebook / Rotary Botanical Gardens
Facebook / Rotary Botanical Gardens
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They even dress it up for the holidays.

Tripadvisor / management
Tripadvisor / management
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The park is open every day during the growing season. There is admission to the garden from April 1- October 31. Parking is free and you are allowed to bring in your own refreshments. (It doesn't explicitly say if alcoholic beverages are allowed, so you might want to keep that on the down low just to be safe.)

One warning is that if you plan on using the gardens for posed photos (weddings, graduations, etc.) there is an additional fee. Regular photography is allowed and encouraged.

Janesville is not that far away from Rockford, this would be a perfect day trip to get out and see something new.

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