The NORTHERN PLAINS BOTANIC GARDEN SOCIETY (NPBGS), in response to inquiries, and as a development tool, is creating opportunities for tributes, memorials, and gifts.


As a Society in the infancy of the development of their fifty-five acre site, The Board of Directors desires to establish clear and appropriate guidelines for these memorials for the following reasons:


1.         To create a formal agreement between donors and the NPBGS, thereby eliminating future misunderstandings and to benefit the progress of the site development.


2          To accept only memorials and objects that relate to the mission and the master plan of the NPBGS.


3.         To accept only memorials and objects which are compatible with aesthetic and design criteria established by the Board.


4.         To establish monetary amounts for donor opportunities that are sufficient to honor the subject, person, event, or situation, and where appropriate, an additional amount for maintenance (or replacement) of the memorial. The amount may be altered as conditions warrant.


5.         To establish an appropriate period of time after which the naming rights, tributes or memorials expire, unless a renewed commitment is made, or provision made, for the renewed commitment.




1.         The Board will not approve a memorial of a religious nature. The Board reserves the right to determine whether the content of a proposed memorial is religious in nature.


2.          A Memorial Fund has been established. The records of the Memorial Fund will be made available for public viewing upon request.


3.         Any signs or identification labels on or near the memorial article will only make reference to names or events, and will be of a size, design, and location as determined by the NPBGS.


4.         Damage by natural causes shall not be the responsibility of the NPBGS. This shall not be cause for the NPBGS to replace the memorial.




The Master Plan locates gardens throughout the site. The potential for a memorial by sponsoring a garden is available.


Each garden will be analyzed for content, cost and design if it is not part of the current planting plan. The garden plan will be reviewed with the prospective donor. All final decisions made in regard to the location and design will be the right of the Garden Committee of the NPBGS and the NPBGS Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Fargo Park District. The original design may change periodically due to weather, diseases, pests, etc., while it maintains its status as the memorial.


In general, the cost associated with the intended garden will include materials and labor, and an appropriate amount for signage, maintenance and replacement, such as annual plantings. Total cost and size of the garden shall be considerations for determining the length of the memorial period.


Donors may also adopt an existing garden as a memorial, and donor funds would be used for upkeep of an existing garden. Costs will depend on the size and type of the existing garden, and will again include signage, maintenance, plant replacement, etc. The period of time for donor recognition shall be negotiated.





The Master Plan designates many areas for new tree planting. The potential for designating a memorial tree is available. Some of the plans are groups of trees for screening or mass effect. While these group plantings may not be as attractive to a potential donor as single ornamental trees, their function and purpose are no less important. Donors may consider sponsoring groves or groups of tree plantings.


Individual tree memorial locations shall follow the Master Plan in location and species. The cost to the donor associated with the memorial tree is intended to furnish the Society with sufficient funds to purchase and maintain the tree(s), and possibly tree replacement.


Trees have a relatively low initial cost, but have high maintenance costs over the life of the tree. Watering, pruning, and treating for diseases can consume a large part of the maintenance budget.

Tree memorial amounts are based on trunk diameter (see page 3).


The Arboretum, which is the designated 450 feet of the site south of 32nd Avenue, will be a collection of trees and shrubs with signage describing their nature and characteristics while creating an area of repose and relaxation in all seasons. The Arboretum offers memorial opportunities for trees and shrubs as well as benches, paths, landscaping, signage, and other hardscaping. All final decisions made in regard to the location, number, and species of trees will be the right of the Arboretum Committee of the NPBGS and the NPBGS Board of Directors, in conjunction with the Fargo Park District.




Listed below are suggested donations for tree memorials and commemorative trees, as determined by the tree trunk diameter at breast height (DBH), which is measured at 1.5 meters above ground level.


DBH                          Donation

Up to 3”                      $1,500

4-5”                             $2,000

6-7”                             $2,500

8-9”                             $3,500

Over 9”                       $5,000





The Master Plan makes provisions for special items of construction throughout the development. To maintain the character of design in each area of the site, the NPBGS, within the guidelines of the standing agreement with the Fargo Park District, will make the final decisions as to need, location, design, materials, and appropriate nature. The construction could be a bench in a particular garden or along an open path, a Japanese Garden bridge, a winding path in a wooded picnic area, or a stone wall in a rock garden. The possibilities are so vast that it is not possible to describe all of the naming opportunities. It is suggested that a meeting be arranged to create an agreement.


Because a bench is a popular memorial and relatively easy to define, a minimum sum of $5,000 is recommended. Bench style, materials and character will be determined.





Small memorial gifts (less than $5,000) to the Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society that are not otherwise designated shall be put into the Memorial Fund for garden construction as determined by the Board. 







A four-season conservatory is planned including adjunct spaces such as administrative offices, gift shop, classroom/multi-purpose meeting spaces, and other supportive spaces, but construction will not occur for several years. Naming rights are immediately given the same recognition as any object that is placed or built immediately.


Other structures for possible naming opportunities will be the planned Japanese Garden Pavilion, Support Greenhouses, Maintenance Sheds, and Gated Entries. Donated money will be placed in escrow to gain interest until used for the intended purpose. The following are some examples of the possible naming opportunities for rooms, equipment, and functional spaces:

Gift Shop; Classrooms; Library; Exhibit Spaces; Conference Rooms; Display Lobby; Exhibit Wings; Entry Pond and Fountain; and Support Greenhouses. Donors considering naming opportunities should contact the NPBGS.


This Memorial and Naming Policy was approved by the

 Northern Plains Botanic Garden Society Board of Directors

 on 16 June 2011.

Click to download the full Memorial and Naming Policy
Memorial and Naming Policy June 2011.pdf