A big tourist attraction in central Iowa is about to get bigger. The Des Moines Botanical Center is getting a $3-million gift from DuPont to expand its garden area beside the giant glass dome. DuPont is the parent company of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, where spokeswoman Bridget Anderson says it’s a logical investment.
Anderson says, “DuPont is really dedicated to science education and working with a botanical garden is a great opportunity to help advance that and bring new hands-on learning experiences for youth in Iowa.” Pioneer is in the midst of a 5-year, $70-million expansion project that’ll bring a total of 500 jobs to the region.
Anderson says there are two major building efforts being undertaken north of Des Moines, the first being a $40-million investment.
The money is going into Pioneer’s Beaver Creek facility on the Johnston campus, bringing 400 new jobs, along with another 100 jobs at the campus greenhouse facility, an expansion worth about $30-million. She says there will be a range of positions coming open.
“The 500 jobs we’re talking about will be primarily located in the Johnston area and will be in the areas of research, information technology, sales and other support areas,” Anderson said. Pioneer already employs around 3,200 people statewide.
The $3-million donation to the botanical center hinges on the center raising $10-million separately. It’s hoped construction on the new complex of 20 gardens can begin in 2013.