Our official opening on May 11, was planned to coincide with National Public Gardens Day, a celebration of public gardens around the country. The house was open from 10am-6pm and we featured an afternoon butterfly release inside the house. Prior to that, the butterfly house was unlocked and open to the public during April to view the early spring butterflies who nectared on the lilac bushes and other small flowers that had emerged with the early warm temperatures. The official last day of operation was Sunday, October 7.
A total of 22,448 people visited the house in this time, nearly 5,500 more than last season. This was largely due to an expansion of days and hours made possible by a greater volunteer base. Posted hours remained Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 5pm-dusk and Saturdays and Sundays from 10a-6p. Thanks to a volunteer group that continued growing in number throughout the season, the house was able to be scheduled open most weekday evenings and many daytime hours during the week as well. A total of 60 volunteers have recorded close to 3800 service hours in collecting butterflies, growing plants, raising livestock, watering, weeding, pruning, hosting tours, and working scheduled shifts, greeting and educating visitors. We had and have a great group of docents who love their work and who can’t wait to share their enthusiasm of Lepidoptera with others.
Friends of the Garden is constantly seeking funds to further our beautiful gardens, expand, maintain and develop programs of interest to the public, However, we did not have a plan in place that directly addressed the desires of the board of directors or that matched our mission statement. While trying to seek funding, it became apparent that foundations, corporations and even individuals required a detailed strategic plan for how we planned to exist and use funding for the next few years. In June of 2012, the Board of Directors listed priorities for our organization: first of all our gardens, secondly, educating the community about nature and lastly being a resource to the community and catering to the needs of the public. The Executive Committee then held a day long study session to turn lists into goals and strategies. The final product, The Sustainability Plan 2013-2014 was brought to the board at the October Board meeting and board members were to identify and commit to areas of the plan where they could make the goals and strategies happen. Our overall goal now is make the Sustainability Plan a living and working document, defining the ways in which we operate and prioritize our volunteer time. If and when holes become apparent in the plan it is our intention to bring in professional training to assist in steering us in the direction to complete our plan.
Sustainability Plan 2013-2014 (4.03 MB)
Major and Marthe Close accept a Leader's Honor Roll aware from MU Extension, presented by Gaylord Moore, retired horticulture specialist.SPRINGFIELD, MO – The Greene County Extension Council honored three individuals Feb. 27 during its annual meeting by adding their names to the University of Missouri Extension’s “Leader’s Honor Roll.”
Among the honorees were Major and Marthe Close, driving forces behind the creation of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and the headquarters for Greene County Extension.
“Due to a very special gentleman named Major Close, we can be thankful for the construction of this great landmark and an extraordinary beautiful place to house Extension. Major and Martha, you are truly friends to Extension whom I highly admire and respect for all you have done and continue to do for this community,” said Gaylord Moore, a retired horticulture specialist with Greene County Extension during his introduction of the Closes.
Just as flowers bloom, trees grow taller and shrubs denser, the Friends of the Garden has grown to include more than 1,000 members and has created more gardens for the public to enjoy at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.
In 2009 when George Deatz began the first of three terms as president of Friends of the Garden, the volunteer organization had 250 members. “People make an organization strong,” said Deatz. “The more members we have, the more gardens we can create, build and maintain.” The count stood at 800 last fall and recently crossed the thousand-plus milestone, a portion of that increase due to the merger of the Botanical Society of Southwest Missouri into the Friends of the Garden.
The mission of the Botanical Society was to help maintain the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, located in the northeast corner of the public park and arboretum at 2400 S. Scenic Ave. Now, members will incorporate that mission under the umbrella of the Friends of the Garden.
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We'll continue to add fresh content as often as possible to keep you posted on what's happening at the Botanical Center & Gardens and around SW Missouri.
As always, we encourage you to make daily visits to Friends of the Garden Website. We welcome comments and suggestions.
RJ JacobSite Administrator
Tax deductible contributions can be made payable to:
Friends of the Garden
PO Box 8566
Springfield, MO 65801
Or make a donation with a major credit card using the secure PayPal payment service.
For Membership Information: CLICK HERE
Friends of the Garden, Inc. PO Box 8566 Springfield, MO 65801 417.891.1515 | EMAIL
The Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center2400 S. Scenic AveSpringfield, MO 65807
The Friends of the Garden mission is to "inspire the discovery, understanding and appreciation of nature by creating and maintaining gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and by supporting the mission of the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and Park Board."