Huntsville, Ala. (WHNT)– After more than 20 years working at Huntsville Botanical Garden, Vice President of Horticulture and Education Harvey Cotten announced his retirement earlier this month.
Cotten has worked at the Garden since November 1992, and first began as most do– a volunteer.
Volunteers keep the Garden “growing” every day, and Cotten has seen his fair share of change over the last 20+ years.
When he began, Huntsville Botanical Garden had just 32 acres and had just expanded to 112. They’ve been able to add more botanical displays and educational programs, and the membership base has grown significantly– more than 300,000 people visit every year.
Cotten said they “are in more than 8,000 households in the community.”
“The garden is a fantastic place. I never want to not be involved and I’m not looking to have another job somewhere else,” Cotten told us.
Though he is retiring, Cotten will still be a busy man. He still plans on teaching classes and volunteering a lot of his time to Huntsville Botanical Garden. Cotten also plans to travel around the southeast speaking to various groups.
One of the next big projects that is now underway is the development of Lake Lonnie. Cotten said this is in preparation for a new guest hall– the current one has become too small and this is a result of increased visitors to the Garden, which is a “good problem to have,” says Cotten.