The Grotto Gardens at the Dayton VA Medical Center

Contact the Grotto Gardens Staff

We’d love to hear from you.  If you would like to volunteer at the Grotto Gardens or take a tour, use the first form below.  If you would like to reserve the gardens for a special event, like a wedding or a reception, those requests are handled by the VA and the form below will send your information to them.  

Contact the Grotto Gardens Volunteers

Use this form to request more information, sign up for a tour or sign up to become a volunteer.

Click here to Contact Volunteers

Reserve the Grotto Gardens for an Event

The Grotto Gardens can be reserved for your private event, such as a wedding or a reception.  These requests are handled by staff at the Dayton VA.  You can use the form below to submit a reservation request. 

Click here to reserve the Gardens for an event
We need your phone number to talk to you about the details of your event.
Dayton VA Medical Center Grotto Gardens Usage Information The Grotto and surrounding gardens were developed by resident Civil War veterans in the area surrounding a limestone quarry. The twin towers are the centerpiece of the Grotto Gardens landscape at the Dayton VA Medical Center, a National Historic Landmark in Dayton, Ohio. Congress established the system of National Asylums for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers and legislation was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1865. The Central Branch, also known as the National Soldiers Home, opened in Dayton in 1867. Starting in 2012, the Dayton VA Medical Center and The American Veterans Heritage Center initiated the current reclamation of the historic Grotto Gardens landscape. The Ohio State University Extension’s Greater Montgomery County Master Gardener Volunteers joined the team in 2013 to provide maintenance support, develop and maintain new gardens, and continue the reclamation process. Along the way, other volunteers have joined the team and there have been significant financial and in-kind donations by individual, organizations, garden clubs, and garden centers. There is no charge for usage of the grotto; however, donations to the American Veterans Heritage Center (AVHC) are welcome to continue to support the maintenance and beauty of the Grotto Gardens. To donate for Grotto usage, please visit Below is a list of additional guidelines that must be followed in order to utilize the grotto area: • No feeding the ducks, geese, etc. • No swimming • No fishing • No climbing the gateway entrance • No fires (Candles) • No smoking • No alcohol • Do not pick or cut flowers or other vegetation • No digging • Replacement of grass or dirt if tent is installed. • Cleanup necessary of all things, waste, etc. • No photos of Veteran patients • Any tents will need to be coordinated with Engineering prior to driving stakes into the ground • Only 110v power is available • Nothing (benches, boulders, signs, etc..) will be moved • No available bathrooms – portable toilet locations to be pre-determined (most likely near small parking area near entrance road) • No parking or driving on grass • No bike riding, rollerblading, skate boarding, or ball playing • No decorations may be attached to any walls pillars or other structures within the buildings • Any public address or other amplified sound system equipment used must not be of a volume to interfere with the general public’s enjoyment of the facilities or grounds and must not create a nuisance to adjacent buildings All groups or individuals are subject to approval and adherence to Grotto Garden Usage Agreement to include Revocable License and liability insurance. To start the process, please fill out the Grotto Usage Application Form.


Tennessee and Gettysburg Ave.
Dayton, OH 45428

Mailing address

P.O. Box 1366
Fairborn, OH 45324


Hours of operation

Open 24 hours a day

Phone number

Office: (937) 267-7628

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