Explore the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden
The Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden is a creation influenced by the late William Wrigley, Jr., a major developer of Catalina Island. He spent millions of dollars in developing the island and promoting tourism. The least the community could do for him was to devote a memorial site to his memory. Today, the Wrigley Memorial and Botanic Garden covers 38 acres of beautiful flora life. You can access this garden from downtown Avalon. In fact, a tram system goes between Island Plaza and the gardens.
There is a monument dedicated to Wrigley here and it was built from native Catalina materials. The monument stands 232 feet wide and 180 feet deep. It is a lookout tower and gives visitors the perfect view of the garden and the canyon floor. Contrary to popular belief, the body of Wrigley is no longer on site. It was for a time, but was later removed. The garden itself is actually an expansion of the garden of the Wrigley family. Now the garden has hundreds of plants on display.
Experience the beauty of native flora in the Wrigley botanic garden
The site has eight plants that are endemic to Catalina. There are also rare plants from Santa Rosa, San Clemente and other Channel Islands. There is also a herbarium on-site. Lastly, there is an educational center in a small theater. There, children and adults can learn more about plants through seminars and videos. There are also Conservancy naturalists on-hand to provide informative nature walks.
Visitors from the site have called it a crown-like monument. Inside, there are stairs and Art Deco designs that will leave you in awe. There is also ornate-grid work, marble floors, and multi-paned windows that add to the ambiance of the site. It really comes alive in the spring, though the Wrigley botanic garden is beautiful all year round. If you love flora, particularly cactus flowers and rare specimens, come see this memorial site!