Mt. Cuba Center, a native plant botanic garden in Hockessin, Delaware, received a $144,159.00 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to implement the largest and most significant phase of its interpretive master planning project. This grant to Mt. Cuba Center is one of 130 globally awarded grants from IMLS totaling $21,726,676.

Building on two years of research, development, and pilot-testing, Mt. Cuba Center’s team will use the grant award to install a suite of new interpretive signs, including plant labels, wayfinding tools and interpretive content and a series of interactive tools meant to enhance the garden experience. With the aid of IMLS funding, the interpretive program implementation will also include the launch of a new, more-personalized docent tour program and a new plant labeling system that will correlate directly to the species featured in classes and programs at Mt. Cuba.

“Historically, all guests at Mt. Cuba Center were guided by docents,” said Jeff Downing, Mt. Cuba Center’s Executive Director. “Now that we’re open for general admission, we need to develop tools to help self-guided visitors understand how our garden functions as an ecosystem and what they can do at home to support wildlife.”

“We are thrilled to have been selected among 449 applicants to the Museums for America program,” said Dorothy Leventry, Mt. Cuba Center’s Director of Education and Guest Experience. “This grant will allow us to enrich the guest experience by deepening their engagement with, and understanding of, our natural world.”

This grant is part of Museums for America, an IMLS program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public by providing high-quality, inclusive learning experiences by serving as community anchors and essential partners in addressing community needs, and by preserving and providing access to the collections entrusted to its care.