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Friends Feature: Rotary Botanical Gardens Sees Flourishing Prospects of Woodman's Center

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

Becky Kronberg, Executive Director of Rock County's top tourist destination, Rotary Botanical Gardens, has extended an endorsement for the Woodman's Sports and Convention Center on behalf of the Garden's Board of Directors. She recognizes the mutually beneficial relationship that the facility could foster within our growing community. Becky sees the Center as a gateway to a myriad of opportunities poised to enrich Janesville. She believes the Center will stimulate economic and community growth, increasing visitation to local attractions. This influx of guests will support local businesses, fostering a symbiotic relationship that promises to strengthen and enliven the Janesville community.

We're excited to share this Friends Feature with you for a glimpse of a future that awaits Janesville’s approval, as painted by Becky Kronberg herself.

Thanks for being a Friend to this project, Rotary Gardens.

Cultivating Community Growth and Embracing Our Visitor Experiences

by Becky Kronberg, Executive Director

On behalf of the Board of Directors at Rotary Botanical Gardens, we express our support for the Woodman's Sports and Convention Center. As the top tourist destination in Rock County and voted Best Wedding Venue and Best Event Venue in 2022, we are excited about the new influx of visitors, the diverse events, and the increased exposure that the Woodman's Center will bring to Rotary Botanical Gardens and our community.

Rock County visitors will need and look for activities between conference breaks, tournament games, and multi-day meetings. Our new Janesville guests of the Woodman's Center will naturally want to explore what we offer and visit local attractions like Rotary Botanical Gardens, Lincoln-Tallman House, Janesville Performing Arts Center, etc. These visitors will stay in local hotels, shop at our stores, and eat at restaurants in our community.

Contrary to some concerns, we do not believe the Woodman's Center will take business away from the Gardens. Instead, it will only enhance our community presence and benefit the Gardens in countless ways, including supporting our local artists and increasing unique special event bookings and use of our spaces. This is important, considering Rotary Botanical Gardens is 100% self-funded and maintained by a small staff and a large group of dedicated volunteers.

Our board of directors was given the opportunity to learn more about the Center's project goals and potential impact, and they came away deeply impressed and excited for what could come our way. Friends of the Woodman's Center co-chair Christine Rebout, who is also Executive Director of the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Shelley Slapek, Recreation Director at the City of Janesville, provided the informational presentation, followed by a discussion about its potential impact on destinations such as the Gardens.

We appreciated the opportunity to provide feedback and share individual thoughts, and we are thankful for the insight gained from the presentations the Friends offered. Knowledge is indeed power. Thus, I would encourage any local business or group to contact the Friends and request a presentation to learn more.

More about Rotary Gardens: Located in Janesville, Wisconsin, Rotary Botanical Gardens is an award-winning 20-acre, non-profit botanic showcase with 26 different garden styles and 4,000 varieties of plants. The Gardens is home to many dramatic and internationally themed gardens, including Japanese, Scottish, French Formal, Italian and English Cottage Gardens. Visitors to the Gardens may enjoy guided garden tours, shopping local artisans' works in the Cottage Garden Gallery Gift Shop, and a variety of educational classes and programs available for adults, youth and families. The elegant facility is also available for special event rentals.

Getting the Facts Straight: Engage with Woodman's Center Initiative

As leaders who've been working on this project for more than five years and have hands on in many regional public-private partnership projects, we know that it's easy for facts and data to get twisted and sometimes not updated as project progress. We want to avoid that. So, we invite you to attend our events and dig into the most recent studies, cost data, and economic impact resources on our project page. This way, you get the straight scoop.

You can also reach out to us at We've got volunteers and Friends like Christine and Shelley who can fill you in and have a real conversation with you or your organization.

Share Your Voice With Decision Makers

Kronberg also expressed Rotary Botanical Garden's full support in a letter to the Janesville City Council on December 8, 2022. So remember, don't hesitate to share your thoughts and questions with our community decision-makers. Your input makes a difference.

You can also provide a letter of support to or send a Letter to the Editor to your community newspaper.


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