New Sea-Focused Exhibit at Wichita’s Botanica Gardens

This post is sponsored by Wichita’s Botanica Gardens, a great addition to your summer road trip plans!

An 18-foot-tall jellyfish. An octupus bigger than a car. An 11-foot-long shark named Chompers.

From May 14 through October 23, 2022, visitors can experience the one-of-a-kind, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea,” exhibit at Botanica Gardens in Wichita, KS. The exhibit is included with general admission and features 14 oversized sculptures placed throughout the gardens and made entirely from marine debris. All of these sculptures are made from common items washed up on the beach such as kids toys, bottles, sunglasses, suitcase handles, makeup containers and so much more. 

shark sculpture with text Washed Ashore at BotanicaWichita’s Newest Jaw-Dropping Attraction

With the help of numerous sponsors such as Mel Hambelton Ford, Textron Aviation, Koch Industries, Delta Dental, Evergy, Baird Private Wealth Management and a multitude of local businesses and families, Botanica is proud to bring “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” to Wichita. “The environment is very important to us here at Botanica,” said Marty Miller, Executive Director of Botanica. “To have an exhibit on display that has processed over 35 tons of plastic pollution from the Pacific Northwest’s ocean beaches in the last ten years is just incredible.” 

The sculptures are part of the non-profit organization’s commitment to combating plastic pollution through art and education. Their mission is to build and exhibit aesthetically powerful art to educate a global audience about plastic pollution in the ocean and waterways, and to spark positive changes in consumer habits. Visit “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” to have an awakening of your heart and mind to the global marine debris crisis.

What Else Is There to Do at Botanica?boys water plants in children's garden

To go along with these giant and oversized works of art, Botanica is also offering a ton of activities and programming specific to the exhibit. Everyone is encouraged to sink their toes in the sand and lounge on Botanica’s very own beach. Visitors young and old will enjoy exploring the bug and aquatic bungalow. Many family-friendly activities focused on recycling, conservation, reusing materials, composting and more will also be available all season long.

And for the parents who might need a little bit of a break while visiting, there will also be unique water-themed art classes, fitness classes and lectures available through October. Visit “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” for an awakening of your heart and mind to the marine debris crisis.

Even once you’ve found each sculpture and interacted with every activity, there is still plenty to do at Botanica. The 20 acres of the ever-changing botanical wonderland houses more than 30 themed areas and over 4,000 plant species. As guests wind through the gardens looking for the exhibit’s sculptures, they will also discover additional gems.

Inspiring sculptures, relaxing water features, and even a ride on a restored 1949 carousel means Botanica is fun for the whole family. 

Sarah grew up in Manhattan, Kansas (Go Cats!), she moved to Minnesota where she met her husband, Shea. Realizing how much she hated snow in May, she convinced him to move to Kansas City in 2010. Together they have lived in Midtown, Waldo, the Plaza, and now Overland Park. Sarah is mom to 10-year-old, Henry, 7-year-old Clark and 5-year-old Lucy. She has her master’s in urban administration and is passionate about making Kansas City a more equitable and supportive community. In between the crazy, she likes to drink coffee, run, hike, travel as much as possible, and experience all things Kansas City!