Ozark Outdoors

Celebrate ‘Give Ozarks’ Tuesday at Springfield Botanical Center

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The English Garden at the Springfield Botanical Gardens combines American plantings in a British Design, including statuary and a donated vintage sundial.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Four organizations are partnering to host a special Give Ozarks Day of music, education, and fun on May 9 at Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

As part of the Give Ozarks 24-hour online fundraiser, participating agencies compete for hourly prizes and matching grants. Donations will be accepted at the entrance gate or online at www.giveozarks.org. However, all events in the park are free and open to the public.

Several activities that day will keep the park buzzing with activity.

  • 8-10 a.m.: “Hands on Work in the Gardens” with David Middleton, meet in Botanical Center lobby to get started.
  • 9:30 a.m.: Historic one-room schools of Greene County with David Burton in the large classroom.
  • 10 a.m. – Noon: Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House sneak peak with Kelly McGowan, University of Missouri Extension horticulture educator.
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Oldies music performance with Joe and Harold at Peace Through People Pavilion. There will also be free popcorn and soda in Botanical Center.
  • 1-3 p.m.: Historic buildings at the Gray/Campbell Farmstead will be open to the public.
  • 2-4 p.m.: Enjoy guided tram tours of the botanical gardens starting at the south patio of the Botanical Center.
  • 3:30 p.m.: “Iris, Peony, and Hostas, oh my,” garden walk with Katie Keith, Botanical Center coordinator. Meet in Botanical Center lobby to get started.
  • 5 p.m.: Enjoy kite flying on the Great Lawn with friends and family. Bring your kite.
  • 6 p.m.: Meet fellow Pokemon Go players and enjoy the features of our parks. The Springfield Botanical Gardens is a trainer spot and a popular location with numerous PokeStops.

Partnering organizations

About 220 agencies are partnering with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for the Give Ozarks Day May 9. Four of those partners are involved with hosting these special events at the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

Donations to Friends of the Garden will fund an endowment fund that will be matched and will support the growth and maintenance of the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.

Donations to the Gray/Campbell Farmstead will help raise the roof on the Founders Pavilion to provide shelter for farmstead activities, 5th-grade history education, and community use.

Give Ozarks donations to the Greene County Extension Council will help fund educational efforts to keep families on the farm through the MU Extension Century Farm program.

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board is accepting donations to its Scholarship Fund, allowing income-qualifying youth to take part in Park Board sports, summer camps and other programs, and to the Miracle League Ball Field, providing youth and adults with disabilities an opportunity to play ball. Other Parks Partners participating in Give Ozarks include Ozark Greenways and Friends of Timmons Temple.

History of “Give Ozarks”

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is hosting Give Ozarks along with presenting sponsor BKD Wealth Advisors; platinum sponsors, The Commerce Trust Co./Coover Charitable Foundation, Edward Jones, the Musgrave Foundation and Ron and Janice Penney, along with numerous other sponsors.

During the 2016 Give Ozarks campaign, more than 150 participating agencies raised over $1 million. This year 220 agencies are participating.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a public 501(c)3 charitable foundation serving a 58-county region across central and southern Missouri, dedicated to working with its donors, nonprofit partners, and affiliated community foundations in meaningful and purposeful ways. The Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in our region through resource development, community grantmaking, collaboration, and public leadership.

Donations can be made online May 9 at www.giveozarks.org.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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