show details 4:33 PM (33 minutes ago)
At a “site dedication” and progress announcement today by the Friends of the Garden, Inc. and Springfield-Greene County Park Board, attendees were given updated financial information on the future Botanical Center in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.
To-date, approximately $1,372,942 has been raised for the $4.3 million project. With the most up-to-date costs as of this morning, news today from Parks Director Jodie Adams was positive for those involved with fundraising. “We’re almost there, and I couldn’t be more proud and appreciative of everyone here today,” said Adams. The project will be paid for in part by the 2006 voter-approved 1/4-cent sales tax for Parks.
“With just $256,338 left to raise, the Botanical Center will soon be a reality,” said Friends of the Gardens committee member Susan Boswell. “Our members’ efforts, along with all of the other groups involved, have put us so close to the finish line, and we just need that last push from community supporters.”
The Botanical Center adds another destination to Springfield’s mix of attractions. “When you’re looking at amenities for visitors who are searching for a destination for business or pleasure, having something like a state-of-the art Botanical Center is certainly a draw for our area,” said attendee Susan Wade with the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau. “As a National Geographic Adventure Top 50 Adventure Town and an Outdoor Life Top 200 Town for Outdoorsmen, Springfield has much to be proud of when it comes to the outdoors and nature.”
The news conference also allowed an opportunity to update outdoor enthusiasts on news that Richard Louv, known for coining the term “nature deficit disorder in children” in his book “Last Child in the Woods”, would be using Springfield as a test site for children and nature studies. Louv visited Springfield earlier this month, speaking to a crowd of hundreds about the growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. Louv recognized Springfield as a leader in outdoor initiatives and education, and praised the Park Board and other organizations for their combined efforts in related infrastructure, collaborative partnerships, and skilled personnel.
To contribute to the Botanical Center, tax deductable contributions can be made payable to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, 425 E. Trafficway, Springfield, Mo., 65806; with “Botanical Center Fund” in the memo line.
For more information, media contact: Bob Nelson, Public Information Administrator, (417) 874-2176.