Manito Park and Botanical Gardens
Manito Park and Botanical Gardens is a 90-acre (0.36 km2) public park with arboretum, botanical gardens, and conservatory, located at 17th Ave and Grand Blvd in Spokane, Washington, USA. It is open daily without charge.
The park was originally a public recreation area called Montrose Park . In 1903 its name was changed to Manito, said to mean Spirit of Nature in the Algonquian language. A park commission was formed in 1907 with annual funding, and in 1913 the famed Olmsted Brothers firm completed their landscaping plans for Spokane parks, including Manito Park. The Park was at one time a zoo until 1932 when the zoo closed down because of the lack of funding during the Great Depression. Today some remnants of the zoo can still be seen, such as an iron bar sticking out of a rock that was once part of the bear cages. 
Aside from the gardens, Manito is home to more common park fare. The park has two play structures, one in "Upper Manito" and the other by the Duck Pond at "Lower Manito". The Duck Pond is located at the Northern End of the park, and is home to many ducks, swans and geese. The Park Bench Cafe is a small cafe serving drinks and snacks during the Summer. Much of the park that is not a garden is left wild, with trails for bicycling and hiking. During the winter, the grassy hills of Manito are popular destinations for sledding.
- Duncan Garden - formal 3-acre (12,000 m2) European garden with a large granite fountain; designed and built in 1913. The arrangement of the flower beds, and also the plants make the Duncan Garden symmetrical.
- Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden - perennial plants.
- Gaiser Conservatory - tropical plants and seasonal flowers.
- Nishinomiya Japanese Garden - in honor of Nishinomiya, Japan, Spokane's sister city. In 1967 noted landscape architect Nagao Sakurai began its design. After his stroke in 1973, designs were completed by Shosuke Nagai and Hirohiko Kawai and the garden was dedicated in 1974.
- Rose Hill - 1500 rose bushes representing over 150 varieties; an All-America Selections rose test garden.
Activities such as baseball, sledding, tennis, duck feeding, and bird watching are very popular among casual visitors. Some of the more alternative activities observed at the park include frolf, and freestyle walking.
- ^ Kershner, Jim (16 May 2004). "At 100 with nature". The Spokesman Review (Spokane): pp. 1. http://www.spokesmanreview.com/allstories-news-story.asp?date=051604&ID=s1519948.
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