Kennett Square, Pa. – Longwood Gardens, the most visited public garden in America, announced record attendance of 1,530,237 visitors for fiscal year 2017 (October 1, 2016-September 20, 2017), representing a 15.7 percent increase over the previous year.
“We are thrilled to achieve this record attendance,” said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens president and CEO, “yet we are ever mindful of the role we play in our community and in our world beyond the numbers – providing a place of beauty, a place of learning, and a place of legacy and stewardship. Our investment in the preservation of our historic Main Fountain Garden and our free virtual field trips offered to schools across the nation are just two examples of the diverse work we do to fulfill our mission."
After an extensive multi-year revitalization, the Main Fountain Garden returned in May with a season of celebration featuring fountain performances, concerts, and special events. The newly revitalized Main Fountain Garden has attracted more than 609,000 guests to Longwood and received rave reviews since returning on May 27. In September, Longwood Gardens announced that its Main Fountain Garden performances will be extended through October 31.
Since 2006, Longwood has nearly doubled its visitation and grown its membership support from 17,000 to 64,000 households. In addition, Longwood continues the mission set forth by Pierre du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts. Longwood offers a breadth of mission programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship, and cultural and community engagement. Since 1958, thousands of students from all over the world have participated in one or more of Longwood’s intensive education programs, ranging from internships to the two-year Professional Gardener Program to the Longwood Fellows Program. Graduates have gone on to leadership roles in many of the country’s top horticultural institutions.