One Garden  

Ozark Botanical Garden, Inc: Home of One Garden
By Peter Callaway

Garden HouseOur organizational ‘home’ for One Garden, the non-profit Ozark Botanical Garden (OBG), has taken some very significant steps in its botanical work.

We hired a staff person, which was key to making it possible for us to bring our seed inventories and seed bank databases to completion. We received the donation of three seed collections: Two from Elixir Farm - the Robert Newman Chinese Medicinal Plant Collection and the Elixir Collection of North American Native Medicinals, and a third, the "Deep Diversity Collection," donated by Seeds of Change. We completed an inventory of the Deep Diversity's approximately 4700 lots of very special seed.

Our organization held an enthusiastic board meeting in May and we now have 3 new active board members in addition to our four originals. At that meeting we adopted the umbrella of "One Garden" to coordinate with local partners in the Bryant Watershed.

We have joined forces with our regional land trust, Ozark Regional Land Trust (ORLT) and its partner, Alford Forest, Inc, another local non- profit. It manages the 4000-acre land trust forest surrounding Elixir Farm, home to OBG gardens. We are also linking with the Bryant Watershed Project, an educational online eco-curriculum that complements our presentation of the One Garden concept.

Our work within the watershed and forest ecosystems feels rich and complex. We meet two or three times a month to unify our group energy and make a significant offering to those who want to learn about our concept of One Garden and our activities that express it - and about being connected to a watershed, an ecological matrix, and the values and intention to conserve and sustain for the future.

The collaboration of the four principal projects under the One Garden umbrella is a powerful union of the most dedicated activists in our neighborhood. Our plan is to link with our respective organizations in the non-profit world to create a node for the distribution of information about our collective work. We are building a stable platform for reaching a large constituency of caring and willing folks who are dedicating their lives and time to work on sustainability issues, specifically the plant world and its relationship to the human community and ecological surround.