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Springfield, MO — The Springfield-Greene County Park Board, in partnership with Friends of the Garden, hosted a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Sensory Garden Fountain Saturday, Oct. 26, 1:30 p.m. in the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave.
The fountain features twin 45- by 27-foot leaf-shaped basins, each with seven nozzles and three waterfalls. The nozzles direct aerated sprays into the air, up to eight feet high. The leaf shapes as well as the stone facade are replicated in other areas in the park.
The $370,000 project was made possible by a generous donation from Marge and Hearld Ambler, along with Friends of the Garden. The Amblers, who also sponsor the park’s Hosta Garden, approached Friends of the Garden in 2017 with a proposal to build a fountain at Springfield Botanical Gardens. At the time, the 113-acre park’s master plan did not include a fountain, but Friends of the Garden and the Park Board worked together to incorporate it into the Sensory Garden, currently under development as a fully-accessible interactive garden, designed to engage visitors’ senses. The fountain design is consistent with the park’s overall master plan.
“Through this gift, Marge and Hearld Ambler have provided a significant centerpiece to the Sensory Garden, which, when completed, will serve people with all abilities in our community,” said Lisa Bakerink, Development Director for Friends of the Garden. “We are incredibly grateful for the Amblers’ vision and donation.”
The fountain was designed by Kansas City- based Water’s Edge Aquatic Design, and constructed by Branco Enterprises Inc. Construction began in late June.
The Sensory Garden was first conceptualized in 2011 as a fully-accessible hands-on teaching garden engaging visitor’s senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. Plans call for raised planters; living walls; colorful, scented and edible plantings; a four-season event space; a kitchen classroom and production greenhouses. The multi-year development began with the Sensory Garden entry, constructed by Nesbitt Construction on 2017. Upcoming projects call for finishing touches in the entryway, a seating area, garden spaces along the main path and finalizing overall garden features.
Friends of the Garden was incorporated in 2000 as the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supporting Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. For more information on sponsorship opportunities with Friends of the Garden, visit friendsofthegarden.org or contact the group at 417-874-2952.
For media inquiries, contact Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2943 (office) or 417-224-5510 (mobile).