Developing a Botanic Garden for Tulsa

The mission of the Tulsa Botanic Garden is to promote the beauty and importance of plants and nature to create a more sustainable and harmonious world.

  • 1999: Garden founders decided to plan and develop a botanic garden for the Tulsa area.

  • 2003: Pat Woodrum appointed Executive Director. 

  • 2004: Persimmon Ridge, LLC (Gentner Drummond and Tom Atherton, Principals) donated 170 acres of land for the Garden site.

  • 2006: The Oklahoma Centennial Commission awarded grants totaling $2.2 million to the Garden to begin construction on the site.

  • 2007: A Blessing of the Land ceremony conducted by the Assistant Principal Chief of the Osage Nation drew a crowd of 400.  A groundbreaking on the Centennial Phase of the Garden's development happened later in the year with city and state officials in attendance.

  • 2008: The Centennial Phase, consisting of the 7-acre lake, the 1,200 square-foot visitor center, and the 1.5-mile access road, was dedicated. 

  • 2009: Construction of the lake was completed. Garden opened to the public for the first time on Saturdays, April through October.

  • 2010: Garden received $1 million grant from the Economic Development Administration for water and sewer infrastructure.

  • 2011: Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne, nationally recognized horticulturist, hired as President & CEO of the Garden.

  • 2012: Garden completed master plan, with Studio Outside and 3.fromme Design, for the development of 60 acres of gardens around the lake.

  • 2013: Over 1,200 plants are added in beds around the lake. Garden was renamed Tulsa Botanic Garden and unveiled new logo. 

  • 2014: Major infrastructure projects, including construction of 2.2 mile water line to the site, are completed. An additional 1,500 plants and 7,000 perennial bulbs are planted. Construction of nursery growing area and production greenhouse, begins in late summer.  In October, board announces $10 million has been raised (60%) toward a $17 million goal to build first four planned gardens and a multi-purpose building.


  • 2015: The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Floral Terraces, a three acre ornamental garden with over 8,000 permanent plants and an additional 7,000 seasonal plants opened on October 3.

  • 2016: First year of Tulsa Botanic Blooms, a spring bulb display with over 100,000 bulbs.  Children's Discovery Garden opened May 15. Construction on multi-purpose building, named The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Grange, begins in November.

  • 2017: J.E. and L.E. Mabee Grange building opens in December and weddings and private events begin to be booked.


  • 2018: Garden co-hosts the American Public Gardens Association Horticulture, Greenhouses, Facilities Symposium. Hundreds of thousands of colorful lights illuminate the Garden during the first annual Garden of Lights.  The first BOTANICAL! fundraising dinner is held.  


  • 2019: Garden hosts the U.S. Postal Service Stamp Dedication Ceremony for "Winter Berries" Stamp in September. The Children’s Discovery Garden was featured in an exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.  It was the 7th year for DIG (Day in the Garden) which continued as a family-focused event.


  • 2020: The Bumgarner Family Foundation makes a major gift to fund construction of the Bumgarner Lotus Pool. Dr. F. Todd Lasseigne resigns in August and Pat Woodrum becomes Interim President & CEO.


  • 2021: After a national search, Chuck Lamson is named as new President & CEO, taking the helm in mid-January 2021.