Mainers admire the gardens in bloom during the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Maine Days celebration. Photo courtesy of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors over the holiday weekend during Maine Days when Maine residents were offered free admission. Photo courtesy of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

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Maine families visited the organization’s popular trolls exhibit designed by Danish artist Thomas Dambo and built by Mainers. Photo courtesy of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens welcomed nearly 10,000 visitors over the holiday weekend for Maine Days, when the organization doesn’t charge admission for Maine residents.

“Inspiring meaningful connections between people, plants, and nature is at the heart of everything we do, and the past two years have reiterated how important nature’s restorative qualities are to human health and happiness in our increasingly stressful world,” CEO Gretchen Ostherr wrote in a statement Monday. “To that end, we endeavor to make the Gardens as accessible, inclusive, and relevant to our Maine community as possible. One of the ways we do this is through our annual Maine Days weekend when Maine residents are invited to visit the Gardens at no cost.”

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has seen a 150% increase in ticket sales in 2021 compared to 2019 and 2020, resulting in a record-breaking season of 250,000 visitors, according to Director of Marketing Shannon Russo. The organization credits the increase to “a renewed interest in nature and the outdoors in response to the pandemic.”

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