Botanical Center Grand Opening Oct. 11-17 in Springfield, Mo.

Published on September 28, 2010

A new attraction featuring flora and fauna will spring up in Springfield, Mo., in October.

The Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park opens in October and a variety of activities are planned to celebrate. Festivities Oct. 11-17 include garden, food and art workshops; seminars; garden tours for adults; and sing-a-long, story time and crafts for kids. Live musical performances include Judy Collins and Trout Fishing in America.

Pre-registration is required for some events and a small fee may be charged for some activities. Call 417-864-1049 or visit www.parkboard.org for more information as it becomes available.

The center is a 12,700-square-foot building set into a hillside in the 55-acre Close Memorial Park, which adjoins the 59-acre Nathanael Greene Park. The parks, referred to jointly as Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, share a common entrance at 2400 S. Scenic Ave.

The center contains classroom, meeting, rental and exhibit space; an elevated plaza entrance and roof garden; a combination gift shop and library; and offices for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, University of Missouri Extension’s Greene County office, MU Extension’s chapter of Master Gardeners of Greene County and Friends of the Garden. MU Extension will offer a Plant Doctor Diagnostics lab as well as a help hotline for lawn and garden questions.

In conjunction with the center opening, the site will include a NatureGrounds® demonstration site, a unique play environment made with PlayCore™. This venue will offer “School Park Curriculum” developed by PlayCore that incorporates nature and play.

A 20-year master plan for the Botanical Center calls for the building to be surrounded by botanical gardens and an arboretum containing all of Missouri’s native trees.

Existing gardens include: the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, the White Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the English Garden, the Federated Garden Clubs Garden, and individual gardens devoted to dwarf conifers, dogwoods, flowering shrubs, hostas, daylilies, iris, lilies, native shrubs and wildflowers, ornamental grasses, peonies, roses, redbuds, columbine, native prairie and viburnums.

Future Gardens may include, but are not limited to: Biblical Garden, Bulb and Tuber Garden, Conservatory, Freedom Garden, Heritage Garden, Perennial Garden, Secret Garden, Sensory Garden, Terrace Garden, Victorian Garden, Pendula Garden, Wetland Garden, Winter Garden, and individual gardens devoted to azaleas, conifers, ferns, flowering trees, Japanese maples, and magnolias.

Additional attractions in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park are Lake Drummond; the Lion’s Club History Walk; a children’s playground; picnic areas with grills; pavilions; statuary; scenic walkways; and the nationally designated South Creek Greenway Trail.

Seasonal Gardens include: The Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House open weekends 10 a.m.-6 p.m. mid-May-September; The Gray-Campbell Farmstead weekends 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. May-September; and the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll garden open 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday-Monday April-October. Adult admission for the stroll garden is $3. All other attractions are free. Special guided tours are available by calling: 417-864-1049.

For an enhanced visitor experience, users are encouraged to find out more about the plants and gardens by dialing 417-216-3016 followed by a garden corresponding number and # key. The service provided by Guide By Cell®, offers round-the-clock garden interpretation. Look for signage at each garden area.

Photos of the botanical gardens and more information can be found at www.friendsofthegarden.org.

For more information about Springfield, visit www.SpringfieldAdventures.com or call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767.

**BOTANICAL CENTER GRAND OPENING – SCHEDULE OF EVENTS**

Schedule subject to change

**Monday, October 11** (Columbus Day-Opening Day)

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

9 – 11 a.m. “Ask the Expert”: Meet Gail Stineburg in the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens for design and gardening tips

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides, free and open to the public

10 a.m. – Noon Hands-on activity: making Bird Mobiles with 4-H, Botanical West Plaza, free and open to the public

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House open, free and open to the public

Noon Garden Partners Exhibit open

Noon Guided Activity, Geocaching 101 with Springfield-Greene County Park Board Outdoor Initiatives, workshop studio, free and open to the public

Noon – 12:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Shelley Vaugine, Companion Planting with Herbs, Springfield Area Herb Society

4 p.m. Dedication, Welcome and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, Botanical Roof Plaza, free and open to the public

**Tuesday, October 12**

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides, free and open to the public

10:30 a.m. Guest Speaker: Eliza Fournier, Manager of Chicago Botanical Gardens Schools and Community Gardens in Classrooms, free and open to the public

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House, free and open to the public

2 – 3:30 p.m. Initial Visionary Session and open discussion on edible garden design with Tres Fromme and Tary Arterburn in Classrooms

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Family Concert: “Trout Fishing in America”, Botanical Roof Plaza, free and open to the public

7 – 9 p.m. Stargazing on Botanical Roof Plaza, Springfield Astronomical Society, free and open to the public

**Wednesday, October 13** (Convergence of Nature and Play Symposium)

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. “Convergence of Nature and Play” Symposium (pre-registration required)

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Botanical Boutique and Marketplace open

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides

10 – 11 a.m. Progressive Dedication of new play sites: Walk and Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies at the

NatureGrounds, Metamorphosis of the Monarch Butterfly, and Trail Pods, free and open to the public

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House open, free and open to the public

4 – 5 p.m. Kids Concert: “Trout Fishing in America”, Botanical Roof Plaza, free and open to the public

**Thursday, October 14**

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open

8:30 – 11:30 a.m. “Convergence of Nature and Play” Symposium on-and-off-site tours (pre-registration required)

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Botanical Boutique and Marketplace open

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides, free and open to the public

9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Activities especially for ‘Parents and Tots’, Drummond Deck and in Hosta Garden, free and open to the public

11 a.m. Host Lions History Walk Dedication of stone for Melvin Jones, free and open to the public

Noon – 12:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Gina-Marie Walden, Herbal Delights, from Springfield Area Herb Society

1 – 1:30 p.m. Guest Speaker: Kim Banner, Attracting Wild Life to the Garden, from Springfield Conservation Nature Centerin Classroom

5 p.m. Friends of the Garden Board Meeting in Classrooms, free and open to the public

**Friday, October 15**

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Botanical Boutique and Marketplace open

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides, free and open to the public

10:30 a.m. –– 2 p.m. Mini Seminar: Special Topics on Sustainability and Environment, guest speakers TBA

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House open

2 – 3 p.m. Hands-on Activity, Pinecone Birdfeeders, with 4-H, free and open to the public

**Saturday, October 16**

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Botanical Center open

8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Public Education with Master Gardeners in Classrooms, Workshop Studio and Gardens, various speakers TBA, free and open to the public

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, free and open to the public

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Community Art with Mimi Aumann – “River of Life” environmental art project on Great Lawn, free and open to the public

9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gray-Campbell Farmstead open with costumed guides, free and open to the public

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House open, free and open to the public

**Sunday, October 17**

9 a.m. Bird Walk with Charley Burwick, Master Naturalist and Greater Ozark Audubon Society, meet at the Botanical Roof Plaza

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, open and free to the public

10:00 a.m. Prairie Walk with Ric Mayer, MO Prairie Foundation and Ozark Greenways, meet at the Stroll Garden pavilion

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House open, free and open to the public

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Botanical Center open

11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Garden Partners tables and exhibits open 2 p.m.

2 p.m. Outdoor Concert on the Great Lawn, Amber Norgaard, free and open to the public

3 p.m. Outdoor Concert on the Great Lawn, Grammy-award winning Judy Collins, free and open to the public

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