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May 26 – October 16, 2022
Included in general admission

Fortopia, a playful outdoor exhibition comprised of awe-inspiring forts, invites explorers of all ages to discover Powell Gardens. This vibrant addition to summer in Kansas City encourages outdoor discovery and taps into the nostalgia of childhood fort building.  

After opening a public request for proposals in 2021, a jury comprised of educators, architects, horticulturalists, and fabricators selected eight fort designs for inclusion in the exhibition. Designed to inspire an appreciation of the natural landscape, Powell Gardens is excited for visitors to experience its beauty through the variety of creative perspectives represented in the chosen forts. This year’s fort designers include a team of preschool children, artists, landscape designers, architects, and more. 

Fortopia opens May 26 and runs through October 16. Visit the Gardens many times to experience the forts in a different light throughout the changing seasons! Nestled on the East Lawn, visitors are encouraged to enjoy the Gardens in a new and playful way.

Learn More About the 2022 Forts

Fan Favorite Fort Award

It’s simple, the fort that receives the most votes takes the title. Voting closes October 9 and the awardee will be announced shortly after.

How to Vote:

  1. Take a fun photo with your favorite fort.
  2. Cast your vote. Share your photo online by tagging @powellgardens and using #votefortopia22.
  3. Vote again! One post per platform will be accepted.

2023 Fortopia Submissions

Submission Process: To submit a fort proposal, all required information, materials, references and designs must be submitted to exhibitions@powellgardens.org by Monday, November 28, 2022. The design criteria and requirements of submitting a proposal are available in the attached 2023 Fortopia Request for Proposal.

Fortopia 2023 RFP


Information Sessions: Those considering submitting a proposal are encouraged to attend one of two information session hosted by knowledgeable Powell Gardens staff.

Explore More During Fortopia

Midwest Foraging
Heartland Harvest Garden, Family Discovery Trail and the Lotus Pond

Embrace your inner spirit of place and appreciate the natural landscape by taking a Powell Gardens’ self-guided Midwest Foraging Tour utilizing Garden Explorer. Learn how to identify select plants in nature, why they are foraged and fun facts along the way! This family friendly tour content was developed in collaboration with Powell Gardens’ expert Horticulture team. Click here to learn more.

Be certain to stop by the Marketplace on your way home to pick up a commemorative plant patch and DIY foraging kit to apply what you learned on your own!

Build Your Own Fort
Fortopia Lawn

After exploring Fortopia’s eight forts,  build a fort of your own. Budding architects and designers of all ages are encouraged to dream, build, and play in a fort of their own making.

This area is supported by the Hartwig Family Foundation.

Know Before You Go

Applications are now closed. Stay tuned for 2023 Fortopia applications and dates.

Thank you, Fortopia Sponsors!

Fortopia would not be possible without the generous gifts of the sponsors listed below. Powell Gardens is truly grateful to the individuals, businesses, and community groups who support our mission and have joined us in bringing a new way to play to Powell Gardens.

Fort Sponsors

  • Anonymous
  • Peter & Lynne Brown
  • Friends of the Greensman
  • Hunt Midwest, Advantage Fire Protection Systems, Brookside Electrical Project Services, and Randy Spalding Excavating
  • Julie & Sara
  • Bob & Debbie Phillips

Additional Support

  • David & Barbara Dehaemers
  • Gus Wetzel Family Foundation
  • Hartwig Family Foundation
  • Tom Isenberg
  • Mrs. Barbara Spilker