TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Since as early as 1940, the City of Tyler has invested time and money into making Tyler's Municipal Rose Garden into the largest municipal garden in the United States.
"We have over 500,000 visitors every year to the rose garden that come from all over the world to see this rose garden," City of Tyler Managing Director of Planning and Economic Development Heather Nick said. "It's really a jewel for East Texas."
A jewel that has now been recognized by the Texas chapter of American Planning Association.
"We are just so grateful to be considered and were just so happy that this has been identified for Tyler," Nick said. "I mean I think we have a lot of community pride about our rose garden and now everybody else is just seeing what we already saw."
Each year they designate six "Great Places" around the state, and now East Texas is among other tourist destinations like Houston, Waco, San Antonio, Austin and the DFW metroplex.
"It means that we are not just pine trees and lakes and golf courses," rose garden visitor Paul Williamson said. "That we do have other things and emphasizing the beauty of East Texas which after all it is a very scenic and beautiful place."
With over 22 acres of land, and 38,000 rose bushes, the municipal garden was recognized as a public space in the community.
"The public, the community gathers there and there's something special about it," Nick said.
Now with the garden recognized by the state, the city is planning on filing for national recognition as a tourist attraction.
"The rose garden is such an important part of our culture and our community and we want people to come to Tyler from all over the world to enjoy it," Nick said.
A formal celebration for the designation will be held at the Municipal Rose Garden in May, however a date has not been scheduled.