COLUMBUS, GA-Planners for the Columbus Botanical Garden are about to begin work on the site as well as fundraising efforts for the 28-acre greenspace. The price tag is estimated between $10 million and $15 million, including funds for endowing maintenance and operation. It will be built over a period of several years.

The site is adjacent to the planned 100-acre Columbus Park Crossing regional shopping mall being developed by Atlanta-based Ben Carter Properties. The retail center is the first phase of a larger planned 400-acre mixed-use project north of the city. Columbus is about 120 miles southwest of Atlanta.

The cornerstones of the Garden complex are the 100-year old Adams farmstead home and the Environmental Horticultural Program of Columbus Technical College, which will relocate to two acres on the site. The first step will be completion of a restoration of the Adams home and outbuildings and a period garden around the house.

Some $200,000 will go toward the project. Work will begin in early 2001 and be completed by March. The farmstead will contain offices, an education area and entry point to the Garden. The Garden also has access to another 20 acres set aside by the Adams family for greenspace and as a buffer to the development. That space will remain as natural woodland.

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