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Work is now complete on the Sprinfield-Greene County Botanical Center
Botanical Center Facts
The $4.3 million Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center is being funded by $3 million from a 2006 voter-approved parks sales tax, funds provided by the Greene County Commission and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, and private donors contributing through University of Missouri-Greene County Extension and Friends of the Garden.
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 two parks, often referred to jointly as "Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park," share a common entrance at 2400 South Scenic in Springfield.
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.
The state of the art facility will include Wi-Fi service and Audio/Visual capability to host a variety of public and private programs and events. Construction on the Center building began in fall 2009 and the completion of the building is set for fall 2010.
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. Designed by H Design Group of Springfield, the Botanical Center will be an energy-efficient "green" building and will seek LEED certification. R.E. Smith is the lead contractor.
The Center will be owned, operated, and maintained by the Springfield-Greene County Park Board.
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance in metrics such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
Background on the Parks
The 59-acre, Nathanael Greene Park was received as surplus property from the U.S. Department of Interior and Bureau of Prisons in 1975. Over the years, the land has been gradually developed to include the Japanese Stroll Garden, the Gray-Campbell Farmstead, the Lion's Club History Walk, Federated Garden Club and the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens.
The 55-acre, Close Memorial Park was established in cooperation with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board in 1998, its purchase made possible in part through a donation from the C.M. Close family. The same year, Friends of the Garden was formed to support the park and now creates and maintains the botanical gardens.
A Missouri Department of Conservation grant in 2003 helped expand the park and clear it to create open space.
Friends of the Garden
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."