January 15, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

Botanical Center hosts volunteer orientation on MKL Jr. Day of Service

Garden enthusiasts are invited to get involved with public gardens at a volunteer orientation Monday, Jan. 20, 12:30 p.m., on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center.

Volunteers are needed year-round for garden maintenance, education programs, tour guides and more at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., in Springfield. The 113-acre park features 26 themed gardens and special plant collections as well as the Botanical Center, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll garden, Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House and Grey-Campbell Farmstead.

Several gardening groups and societies maintain specific gardens. Regardless of plant specialty or skill level, gardening at the park is a great opportunity to learn about plants and forge new friendships, said Katie Steinhoff, coordinator of the Botanical Center.

"Here's your chance to meet other plant lovers and learn more about gardens and nature," said Steinhoff.

Last year, volunteers provided more than 13,500 hours of service at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. Parks Director Bob Belote said volunteers are key to the park's success and popularity.

"We simply could not offer the wide variety of well-maintained gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park without volunteers," said Belote. "The Park Board owes a huge debt of gratitude to those who give their time and expertise to gardening at this park."

The volunteer orientation event is Monday, Jan. 20, 12:30 p.m., at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., in Springfield. This event includes planning for the upcoming garden season. Attendance is free but registration is requested at 417-891-1515. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center at 417-891-1515. For media inquiries, call Jenny Fillmer Edwards, Public Information Administrator for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, at 417-874-2176 or 417-224-5510.