Myriad Botanical Gardens awarded Great Idea Challenge Grant
The Oklahoma City Community Foundation and Mayor David Holt hosted a reception Wednesday, January 9, after to announce the recipients of the Great Idea Challenge Grant. The Myriad Gardens was recognized as a runner up and awarded $20,000 to develop their proposed ReWild OKC Program.
ReWild OKC suggests a re-envisioning of Oklahoma City as an urban garden and challenges the public to see naturalized plants in an aesthetic way. Taking a layered approach to rewilding our city, labeling wild plants throughout downtown, curating a weedy vacant lot into a green zone, and creating vertical gardens on walls and fences along with programs to bring garden education to children across the city.
“ReWild OKC is an entirely new way of thinking about our urban and natural environment. The program will improve the quality of life by creating harmony between nature and the city. The Myriad Gardens horticultural staff will cultivate a pocket garden downtown by naturalizing a vacant lot and creating or labeling vertical gardens on walls and fences. These spaces will be extremely low maintenance and composed of native plants not commonly seen in designed gardens. Rather than being customary destinations, they will be found spaces, naturalized, wildlife-friendly greenery embedded into the structure of our city,” said Maureen Heffernan, Executive Director of the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
The ReWild green spaces will be aesthetically pleasing and, once established, require very little maintenance with drought resistant and wildlife-friendly plants. The labeled weeds, gardens and vines will be combined into an urban green walking tour that the public could do independently or in groups. Greening our urban landscape will improve sustainability and quality of life in Oklahoma City and could become a national model for re-wilding urban areas.