The Grotto Gardens at the Dayton VA Medical Center

Grotto Gardens Info

The Grotto and Gardens were a significant area of attraction of the Dayton Soldiers’ Home, called the “Mother Home” by the returning veterans from the American Civil War.  The area where the Grotto and Gardens are located was the site of a limestone quarry.
In 2012, The Dayton VA Medical Center (DVAMC) and The American Veterans Heritage Center initiated the current reclamation of the historic Grotto Gardens landscape. The Ohio State University Extension’s (OSUE) Greater Montgomery County Master Gardener Volunteers joined the team in 2013 to provide horticultural support and develop new gardens. Home Depot provided critical support both financially and through volunteer efforts  to improve the infrastructure. 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.
While OSUE is no longer involved, the Grotto Gardens continue to be supported by a dedicated group of volunteers.  The focus of these volunteers is to preserve the historic Grotto Gardens, to inspire the public by providing a beautiful and calming place to visit, and to educate the public on both the Grotto Gardens history and horticulture.


S. Gettysburg Ave at Tennessee Ave. Dayton, OH 45428
Directions -Take St Rt 35 W to the Gettysburg exit.   Continue straight through the gates and then take the first left on Tennessee.    Parking available on road.




Free & Open to the Public ( Please maintain socially safe distancing)
Contact Garden Volunteers for Tours & Presentations

The Grotto Gardens are on the grounds of the Dayton VA Medical Center. Admission is free and open to the public.


The Grotto Gardens Volunteers

The Grotto Gardens are planned and maintained by the Grotto Gardeners in conjunction with the AVHC.  Contact DVAMC Voluntary Services or use the contact Grotto Gardens form to get involved.


All donations should be sent to:
American Veterans Heritage Center, P.O. Box 1366, Fairborn, OH 45324
(Please mark all donations “Grotto Project”)

What’s New at the Grotto Gardens


The Grotto Gardens is a member of the American Public Gardens Association and is a Level 1 Accredited Arboretum.

Photo by Kevin L. Myers

Garden Sponsors

The Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center, The American Veterans Heritage Center, Home Depot and the Grotto Gardens volunteers  gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the individuals and organizations whose gifts are being used to reclaim the historic Grotto landscape.


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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