Note: This article and photo originally appeared in the Winter 2010 Friends of the Garden Newsletter (VOL 5, No. 4) which is available for download in the Newsletters Section.
Visitors who may not have made a return trip to the Botanical Center since the opening will discover a stunning new stained glass feature in the south--facing Atrium on the lower level.
Actually a series of interior panels that convey various scenes at the gardens, the window is the creation of Robin Coulter Crabb. She crafted the work in just five weeks.
Robin has been creating stained glass for more than a decade. Her creations can be found in area churches, businesses and even homes. Private donations through Friends of the Garden paid for her latest creation.
While there is nothing fancy about where she works at home, Robin has plans for a studio. Knowing just the right quantities, colors and textures of glass and where to find them is crucial to each piece. So is painting the features on her creations, which can range from Biblical characters to hummingbirds, butterflies and birds. In fact, the tiny Monarch caterpillar crawling amongst the plants in one of the lower left panels was her inspired solution to an inevitable "oops." You can see more examples of her incredible creations of her work at robinsneststainedglass.com.
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."
The Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center2400 S. Scenic AveSpringfield, MO 65807
Hours:Monday - Saturday 8 AM - 8 PMSunday 11 AM - 6 PM
Download a Comprehensive Park Brochure of Favorite Features: Botanical Center & Gardens Brochure (782.17 kB)
The Botanical Center Facility as well as outdoor garden venues are available for rent. Before you call, please read the policies and fee schedules, available at the link below. Private events are scheduled on a first come, first scheduled basis.
For Rental Information and other inquiries:Katie Steinhoff - Coordinator
OrPeter Longley - Horticultural Interpreter
Friends of the Garden, Inc. PO Box 8566 Springfield, MO 65801 417.891.1515 | EMAIL
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."