Myriad Botanical Gardens

Sustainability Statistics


  • The design restored and enhanced the existing 15-acre Myriad Botanical gardens. The renovation and enhancement of the Meinder’s garden is true to the original garden design and celebrates the natural beauty of northeast Oklahoma’s Ozark mountain range. The existing Ozark trees have been maintained and new native forest, meadow and aquatic plants are being installed.
  • By removing the high perimeter berm and opening up the park, visitors were encouraged to walk into the park and felt a heightened sense of security.
  • The historic context of the site was enhanced, through renovations of the Crystal Bridge.
  • A series of erosion control strategies were implemented, including geotextiles to stabilize the soils and retaining walls to divert the water.


  • 300 existing trees were saved on-site.
  • 380 trees were planted, including shumard oaks, American sycamore, bald cypress, allee elms, river birch, Chinese pistache, American holly, and bur oak.
  • 25 high value specimen trees and several trees ranging from 16” to 24” were transplanted on-site.
  • A butterfly garden in the children’s play area and a prairie garden at the entry support pollinators.
  • Mycorrhizal fungi was implemented in the soil mix to provide increased water and nutrient absorption for the planting. In turn, the planting provides the fungi with necessary carbohydrates. 
  • Vegetated wetland planters were used to clean the lake, filter water, and add aesthetic beauty.


  • A three-acre central lake is fed by groundwater.
  • Rainfall was captured in the storm system and directed back to the existing lake, where it is reused for the water features and irrigation for planting.
  • 85% of surfaces are permeable.
  • The water quality of the existing lake was improved, turbidity decreased, and temperature was regulated to support a healthy ecosystem. The whole lake was dredged, removing sludge and debris from the bottom. A biofiltration basin was made with a deep gravel bed, aeration tubes, and aeration features.
  • Trees have the potential for intercepting 169,000 gallons of water which are equivalent to the water usage for 169 American residents for one day.*
  • A shelf was installed around the lake for public safety.  

Carbon, Energy + Air 

  • The project used regional materials such as locally sourced stone and gravel.
  • The tree canopy reduces temperatures and creates energy cost savings.
  • The trees sequester 81,600 pounds of carbon annually, which are equivalent to a standard car driving 111,003 miles.**


  • Property values increased due to the park’s restoration.
  • Maintenance savings were achieved due to the design strategy.


  • The site attracts 1,000,000 people a year, creating jobs and supporting the local economy. Events are held in the park on a daily basis, with a huge event schedule and park programming committee.
  • The park is filled with programmed spaces, including: on-street parking, an auto court, a 6,500-SF dog park, an arena plaza, a restaurant, a 10,500-SF seasonal plaza, a 28,000-SF event lawn, groves, an arts plaza, a botanical garden, a café, a 9,400-SF activity lawn, a fountain plaza, and a 35,000-SF children’s garden..
  • The gardens have educational signage about plants, place and ecology. The entire park has a free wireless network.

* The tree average for water interception is 500 gallons. American’s use an average of 100 gallons of water per day (EPA’s water trivia facts) 

** 120 pounds of CO2 per tree annually (This number is based on an average from the National Tree Benefits Calculator) One car produces an average of 8,320 pounds of CO2 per year. Each vehicle drives an average of 11,318 miles per year. (The Code of Federal Regulations - 40 CFR 600.113)

Myriad Botanical Gardens

A key component in Oklahoma City’s Project 180 public works program, the renovation of Myriad Botanical Gardens has transformed 15 quiet, underutilized acres of open space into a highly programmed urban park and the center of downtown public life. Two decades after its original opening, the park’s Crystal Bridge conservatory, lake and gardens were popular for portrait photography; but limited accessibility, a lack of programming and a public perception that the garden was unsafe discouraged repeat visits. The Office of James Burnett worked with a broad coalition of public and private stakeholders to re-envision the park as a vibrant and iconic setting for the city’s civic and cultural events.

The framework of the park evolved to preserve over 300 high-value specimen trees and to direct on-site stormwater to the renovated central lake, where it supplements irrigation. Permeable and inviting along its edges, the garden draws visitors onto a tree-lined promenade that loops through botanical plantings around the lake’s upper rim. Quiet, shaded berms to the northwest overlook the 28,000 SF Great Lawn and a sculptural bandshell by Gensler’s David Epstein; along Hudson Avenue to the west, a grove of sycamores trees buffers the street while providing flexible garden space to support Oklahoma City’s annual Festival of the Arts. To the south, an interactive water feature marks the entry to a children’s garden that balances active play with natural learning. A dog park, a fountain plaza, and a restaurant with outdoor dining enliven the eastern portion of the site.

Extensive programming by the Myriad Garden Foundation utilizes the park’s garden rooms year-round for concerts and plays, weddings and galas, sports and fitness events. Since its 2011 re-opening, the park has welcomed more than a million visitors annually and catalyzed downtown economic development, earning it a 2015 ULI Urban Open Space Award.

Oklahoma City, OK
Team: Gensler, Fluidity Design Consultants, Fisher Marantz Stone Partners, Pacific Aquascape, Murase Associates, Cardinal Engineering, Alvine Engineering, Thornton Tomasetti, Frankfurt Short Bruza Associates, Endrestudio, Robert Birchell & Associates, Sweeney Associates, Mike Schnelle, Ph.D. Mary Irish, Dyal and Partners
2015 ULI Urban Open Space Award; ASLA San Diego Chapter Awards