A Botanical Garden in Your Own Backyard

Our gardens are also a Signature Garden Site for the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Stretch your legs and your mind — take an entertaining 1/2-mile guided walking tour of the stunning L&C campus in Godfrey. Free guided group tours are available by reservation from Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please email ebraasch@lc.edu to request a tour. 

Learn about the history of Lewis and Clark and the former Monticello Women's Seminary. Discover how Lewis and Clark is working to preserve the beauty of the original limestone buildings and copper patina accents. Explore the lily pond, fountains and gardens designed to inspire students and be environmentally friendly. Listen to the stories behind the monumental bronze sculptures by world-renowned artist Richard Hunt in Crossroads Plaza, Ruth Duckworth's Survivor, Missouri Botanical Garden's Signature Gardens, Fountain Court, River of Colors Garden, Sacagawea by Glenna Goodacre, and many more fascinating features of the 215-acre Godfrey Campus.

Featured Sculptures

Godfrey Campus

N.O. Nelson Campus


Featured Gardens

Discover Monticello Sculpture Gardens 2023 Garden Show 

Godfrey Campus, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL


Past Curated Summer Garden Shows

Monticello Sculpture Gardens

Godfrey Campus, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL

The Monticello Sculpture Gardens have been designated by Missouri Botanical Garden as one of their Signature Gardens in Illinois. Here, the traditional edges between art and landscape blend to create a seamless partnership between sculptor and landscape architect. Sometimes, gardens draw inspiration from the sculpture and sculptor; in other instances, the sculpture is chosen and placed to strengthen existing gardens, complete vistas or create drama in the landscape. In all cases, the gardens feature seasonal interest and fragrance, the complexity of foliage texture and color, horticultural excellence, and satisfaction of all the senses.

River of Color Garden

Godfrey Campus, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL

In 2004, the River of Color Garden became the first of many display gardens within the collection. The River sits at the heart of L&C's historic Godfrey campus. Its flowing drifts of exuberant seasonal color offer an experiential link between the austere and contemporary, structured and unstructured, and pre and post-launch by the Corps of Discovery at Wood River.

The River begins at The Crossroads – a collection of monumental bronze sculptures by Richard Hunt - whose stated inspiration was the Lewis and Clark expedition. From The Crossroads, the River flows west, following the direction of the explorers. The River also symbolizes the transition of students’ regimented existence to a journey of choice and adventure as a graduate. Finally, the River physically links the original parts of campus with the new.

Peg Schmidt Memorial Garden 

Godfrey Campus, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL

This garden is dedicated to the memory of Peg Schmidt, a Monticello College alumnae and strong supporter of higher education. “The Girls” Magnolia Grove is showcased within the highly visible Crossroads Plaza, an important node on campus that is home to Richard Hunt’s monumental sculpture, Crossroads. “The Girls” are small flowering magnolias, growing 8’ to 10’ in height and spread, and blooming in mid-May. In 1965 eight cultivars of magnolias (Ann’, ‘Betty’, ‘Jane’, ‘Judy’, ‘Pinkie’, ‘Randy’, ‘Ricki’, and ‘Susan’) were formally named and released by the U.S. Arboretum, resulting from a breeding program carried out by Francis de Vos and William Kosar. These crosses, using the Lily Magnolia (Magnolia Liliiflora) and the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata), are affectionately known as the “Little Girls” – named after employees who worked at the arboretum or after wives and daughters of staff.