Newly Renamed Tulsa Botanic Garden Unveils Big Plans For Growth
TULSA, Oklahoma - What has been the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden is getting a new name. Supporters announced Wednesday, it's now the Tulsa Botanic Garden, and with the new name comes a more focused approach to make it grow.
Like any garden, it's going to take the Tulsa Botanic Garden years to mature, but the garden is open for business and the backers believe that significant progress is just around the corner.
It's a quiet place now, and what's been developed is small compared to what's planned.
The Garden now consists of a small lake surrounded by a few plots, and a temporary visitor center at the end of a gravel road. There are no utilities yet, but that's on the way.
But the bigger plan for the garden covers 170 acres, with about half of that fully cultivated, the rest a showcase of the natural landscape and native cross timbers. The plots that are there are small examples of a much bigger idea.
See The Tulsa Botanical Garden Master Plan [High resolution photo may load slowly]
The first step toward all that is a new, more focused name and master plan.
"We're going to identify with our city, which is where we're at. We're not going to ignore the rest of the state, but this is where we're starting and we'll grow from here," said President of the Tulsa Botanic Garden Todd Lasseigne.
Doctor Lasseigne is a horticulturalist, who realizes the landscape he's planning might appear to be impossible with the soil and sun he's been given.
But the staff - just four people, with more volunteers - has overseen about a thousand plants going into the ground.
Each garden in the first phase - the children's garden, an ornamental and aquatic garden - will be built to thrive in Oklahoma.
"What we're going to do is take the concepts of proper garden design and proper plant selection and turn that into beautiful gardens that are locally appropriate," Lasseigne said.
It's taken years to get the basic infrastructure planned, and with that behind them, the Tulsa Botanic Garden is ready to grow.
While the plan for construction of the first three gardens is just now taking shape, there are already events there every Saturday during the summer.