Work on Botania started back in 2015. At the moment, the two-story building has been completed and has a fascinating exhibition inside.
The center's curator Laura Līdaka told Latvian Television: "We are in a very special place, I would say, in a house of miracles. A huge work has been done here. You can look a little through the keyhole. Work is still ongoing so that, at the end of the year, we very much hope, visitors can be expected here."
The National Botanical Gardens education specialist Dace Miezīte said: "I very much hope that every child of Latvia, every family of Latvia, every pupil of Latvia, will know this name in the next couple of years. It is a modern and entertaining center for environmental education."
The Botania building has been constructed in a place where a barn was once located, storing seeds of exotic plants. The garden legend says that one of the seeds was carried by a mouse to her cave.
“One day two small sprouts were coming up from the mouse's cave. Walnut grew from these sprouts planted in her cave by the curious mouse. This walnut fruit has become one of the symbols of Botania. The curious mouse is one of the symbols of the visitors to Botania,” said Miezīte.
The walnut is still growing just outside the entrance of the new building.
"The exhibit is located on two floors. This two-story building is full of stories. The stories are, of course, about plants because we're in the Botanical Garden. Starting with tiny roots and big roots, stories about trunks, about who lives on trunks, how trunks are shaped, how they grow and look. Stories about leaves, leaf shapes, colors, and how leaves feed the world. Stories of flowers, fruit, seeds,” said Miezīte.
Overall, Botania's exposure includes more than a hundred different topics about plant life. Work is also ongoing on the development of the National Botanical Gardens School Education Program.