Tulsa's Botanical garden proposal


Wednesday, January 7th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Supporters of a botanical garden in Tulsa think the project could bloom in time for the State Centennial in 2007.

They have to raise a lot of money to build the Oklahoma Centennial Botanical Garden - but they've picked out a site northwest of downtown, inside Osage County.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has the story.

It's a site with rolling hills - some of the highest points around Tulsa. Right now - it's a corporate retreat called Post Oak Lodge. It was owned by Williams Companies, but Williams sold it to an investment group headed by Gentner Drummond. "It is our expectation that as the funds are raised and the project is developed it would be our pleasure an honor to deed that over to the botanical garden organization to it can be a pleasure to the community for perpetuity."

Supporters of the garden gathered to kick off an ambitious fundraising goal - $40 million over 3 years. Pat Woodrum, Board of Directors: "It's going to be private and public fuding, we're going after grants and have applied for $15 million though the centennial commission and we're approaching the private sector."

The garden was considered but not included in the Vision sales tax plan. Only recently has the 1,200 acre site been selected. Even though it's all brown this time of year - supporters think this site offers endless horticultural possibilities.

Barry Fugatt with the Tulsa Garden Center: "We have a site here that blows away those others."

The site for the garden has several natural advantages, the terrain is varied, there's plenty of room for expansion and it's only a few minutes drive from downtown.

Not a spade of dirt has been turned for the garden, but supporters think they can raise the money and build it in time for the Oklahoma State Centennial - just three and half years from now.