The Piedmont Nature Trails which is an 88-acre area was first opened to the public back in 1966. This was the start of, what is now known as the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG). On April 10, 2016, the Garden celebrated their 50th anniversary. As part of the celebration, Caroline Brewery created a special beer for the occasion. It was an Indian Pale Lager that was named the Rattlesnake Master, after the 2016 Wildflower of the year.
The complete vision of the Gardens was originally started in the early 1920’s by William Chambers Coker and his student Henry Roland Totten. These two had originally proposed creating a botanical garden just south of the main campus. They would be proud to know what the Gardens have been turned into.
Throughout the years, the Garden has grown far beyond just nature trails. Caretakers are able to focus on the native plants, formal display gardens, and conservations. Through the Propagation program includes several plant sales that take place from February to December. In 2000, the UNC Chapel Hill Herbarium was welcomed into the North Carolina Botanical Garden. There are many facilities, students, botanists, taxonomists, and other professionals that come from all over the nation to observe and learn about over 800,000 specimens. In 2009, the James & Delight Allen Education Center was the State’s first public museum and outreach center to ever earn the LEED Platinum status, was added to the Gardens. The North Carolina Botanical Garden is responsible for numerous arrays of gardens, and natural areas which would not be made possible without the volunteer help from the Green Dragons group.