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.
Peter Longley, Horticultural Interpreter, The Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center & Gardens, will be presenting a series of ten demonstrations of Tablescapes on a seasonal theme throughout the spring, summer, fall, and winter of 2012. These will feature topical, intimate, casual, formal, and seasonal designs, and will embrace a lot more than just the table setting.
This popular series, continued for a second year and co-sponsored by Friends of the Garden, will show the creation of appropriate floral table arrangements for each presentation, explain the china, glassware, and silverware used, and will be accompanied with anecdotes and a poetic or otherwise appropriate seasonal reading.
Peter was the Estate Manager of Tullamaine Castle , in County Tipperary in Ireland from 1966-77. During that time, apart from running a 250 acre farm and re-designing and maintaining some 25 acres of gardens and grounds, as Estate Manager, he trained and supervised the domestic staff from butlers to houseboys and serving maids. Later, as Cruise Director, he was the third senior hotel officer on board the Cunard ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2, then the world’s most prestigious passenger ship. After retiring from life at sea, Peter ran a guesthouse in the Ozarks in conjunction with a retreat center at Alpha Meadows a few miles from Seymour , and supervised gourmet dining events and concerts in the noted English gardens that he created there.
There is a fee of $8.00 per session and light refreshments appropriate to the theme will be served. Seating is limited and you will need to register in advance, please call 417.891.1515 (You can register for one event at a time and do not have to commit to the whole series).
by George Deatz
A member's important question: Please, tell me more about the Friends of the Garden volunteers. I am curious what your thoughts are about this subject.
Answer: My thoughts in a "nut shell" on volunteers. There is always a percentage of people that are members of a group that will actually "volunteer hands on". There are many things a volunteer can do to contribute to a group's success and community mission. The amount of time is not important, it's the quality of time that counts.
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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."