Myriad Botanical Gardens
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Project owner: Myriad Gardens Foundation
Project designer: Office of James Burnett
Size: 15 acres (6 ha)
Project website: www.myriadgardens.org

Between 2009 and 2011, the municipal government of Oklahoma City, in coordination with the Myriad Gardens Foundation and the Alliance for Economic Development, invested more than $42 million to transform the Myriad Gardens. The goals for the project were to take the highly underused yet well-located 15-acre (6 ha) urban downtown garden and park site in the heart of the city that had fallen into disrepair and completely redesign all outdoor areas into a state-of-the art, beautiful, green, and highly active destination to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma City and continue the renaissance of the downtown.

The Myriad Gardens include a children’s garden and playground, performance stages, the Great Lawn, interactive water features, a dog park, a seasonal ice rink, restaurants, multiple outdoor seating areas, native plants, and ornamental gardens. A 15,000-square-foot (1,400 sq m) Tropical Plant Conservatory sited in the middle of the property is surrounded by a sunken lake, shrubs, flowers, and the outdoor water stage amphitheater. The site now attracts over 1 million people annually with year-round activities and events for diverse audiences.

To maximize funding potential, a private/public partnership was formed so that the nonprofit Myriad Gardens Foundation could take on management and direct the earned revenue and fundraising to ensure the project’s financial stability and to continue to raise funds for ongoing maintenance. The redesign of the site has attracted significant new developments near the perimeter of the park site, including a convention center, a hotel, several office buildings, and housing.