How Does Our Garden Grow? Recognizing the Garden Ambassadors

2016 TBG Ambassador group picture.

Story and photos provided by The Botanic Garden at OSU

Ambassador Garden at The Botanic Garden at OSU.
Ambassador Garden at The Botanic Garden at OSU.

As a garden grows, so does the need for more help to maintain the garden beds, keep the weeds at bay, plant new plants, deadhead, water and the list goes on. So, back in 1993 the Ambassador program was developed and it continues to serve The Botanic Garden at OSU today. In fact, four Ambassadors from the original class are still participating in the program, Lynn Hughes, Wyche Murphy and Olen and Teresa Thomas.

Judy Henderson, pictured here with garden manager Jane Carter on the left, was recognized for 20 years of volunteer service in The Botanic Garden at OSU.
Judy Henderson, pictured here with garden manager Jane Carter on the left, was recognized for 20 years of volunteer service in The Botanic Garden at OSU.

At the end of every year The Botanic Garden hosts an Ambassador Appreciation Banquet. During the banquet the garden recognizes Ambassadors for their many contributions to the growth, maintenance and success of the garden.  This year we recognized four Ambassadors that reached a milestone of 20 years being an active Ambassador: Merry Alexander, Judy Henderson, Joyce McKee, and Carol Solick.  We also awarded a 10 year service pin to Kathy Peacock, Debbie Skinner, and Sheila Thomas, the 5 year service pin to Barbara Pass, Mavonna Ellis, MJ Seals, Jill Simmons, Joyce Taylor and a 1 year service pin to Pam Nelson and Cassie Reed.  

Joyce McKee pictured here with garden manager Jane Carter on the left, was recognized for 20 years of volunteer service in The Botanic Garden at OSU.
Joyce McKee pictured here with garden manager Jane Carter on the left, was recognized for 20 years of volunteer service in The Botanic Garden at OSU.

The Botanic Garden at OSU (TBG) had 45 volunteers in 2016 that reported over 2500 hours of service.  Awards for the most hours reported for gardening service went to Joyce Taylor with 166.5 hours and Mary Davey, a very close runner up, at 165.25 hours.  The award for most hours reported for non-gardening service hours went to Kathy Adkins at 265.75.  

TBG Outstanding Service Award for non-gardening support went to Jeneane Campbell.  Jeneane’s goal this year was to get everyone in a TBG t-shirt. She is always looking for new ways to market the garden. Jeneane also contributed the fountain for the Ambassador Garden that pays tribute to Past, Present, and Future Ambassadors.  

TBG Outstanding Service Award for gardening support went to Les Conner.  Les contributes a lot of his time to weeding the garden and planting. He is very dependable and never complains.  He has a genuine heart and is enjoyable to be around.  

Some of the programs and events offered by The Botanic Garden that are supported by our Ambassador program are the Children’s Programs, May Day, Yoga, Concert Series, Open House, GardenFest, Mum Sale, Guided Tours, Pumpkin Palooza, and other TBG Family activities such as making wreaths and birdfeeders.  

It takes more than just a gardener to help make The Botanic Garden at OSU a success.  It takes people that are dedicated to our mission. The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University conducts research and provides educational programming and experiences that foster an understanding and appreciation for the flora, fauna, and environmental systems comprising the natural and man-made landscapes of Oklahoma, thereby inspiring visitors to explore their relationship with the land.