Pete Millier Retires After 19 Years as Mizzou Botanic Garden’s Director

Director of Mizzou Botanic Garden and Landscape Services Pete Millier ends his 19-year career at MU with the same sense of the campus’ beauty and allure he experienced the first day he set foot on it in 2004.

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Brown Bag Seminars return 

Mark your calendar. After a successful first offering of ecologically focused garden seminars in 2023, MUBG has scheduled three Brown Bag Seminars for this spring and summer. Read more about these seminars on the science of composting, identifying and inviting insect pollinators into your landscape and an introduction to cover crops. 

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When it Comes to Native Plants, Fire Can Be a Good Thing

In an effort to enhance the environment and conserve resources, Mizzou Botanic Garden has replaced mowed turf with native plants, or pollinator plots, which benefit from regular burning.

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MUBG Tributes Memorialize a Life Lost with Messages of Love

When past KOMU-TV General Manager Marty Siddall lost his daughter in a car accident in 2006, he worked through some of his grief with caring Mizzou staff who recommended and partnered with him to memorialize Paige Siddall with a Tribute Tree, a Tribute Bench and a bridge in Peace Park.

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Another Year, Another Successful Jacquelyn K. Jones Lecture

Mizzou Botanic Garden’s (MUBG) 2023 Jacquelyn K. Jones Lecture, featured Joe Lamp’l, the star of PBS’s “Growing a Greener World” and the force behind the joe gardener® online gardening courses, videos, podcasts, a blog and articles. In addition to the lecture, evengt co-sponsor Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) hosted him for a seed-starting workshop. He also visited MU’s Children’s Garden and spoke with students about careers in horticulture at MU’s Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center

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Payne Plaza Dedication

MUBG teamed up with the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources to honor Vice Chancellor and Dean Emeritus of the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CAFNR) Tom Payne, and his wife Alice by dedicating the gardens at the south and west corners of MU’s Agriculture Building as the Tom and Alice Payne Plaza.

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Learning the Landscape

Mizzou Botanic Garden is MU Plant Science Instructor Tim Maloney’s classroom and he couldn’t be happier about it. Maloney teaches the full suite of MU’s green industry class offerings and takes full advantage of MUBG as a teaching tool.   “Campus is our classroom,” he said. “The reality is that it’s a botanic garden. It’s meant to teach.”

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Internationally recognized Missouri peony hybridizer shares outstanding introductions

Don Hollingsworth, a native Missourian, an MU alumnus and an internationally recognized peony grower and hybridizer has generously shared some of his notable cultivars with Mizzou Botanic Garden.

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Legacy Oaks of the Francis Quadrangle Dedicated 

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Diverse crowd attends inaugeral MUBG Brown Bag Seminar on “Imperative to Move Beyond Plastics”

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George Washington Carver Community Garden project makes gains

With the opening of the Annie Fisher Community Garden this summer on the site of MU’s Tara Apartments, Mizzou Botanic Garden’s George Washington Carver Community Garden Project is another step closer to fulfilling its mission.

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Just like other gardeners, MUBG gardeners do a fall plant shuffle

A frost in late September had area gardeners — and Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) staff — scrambling to move tropical and other houseplants indoors after summer months of refreshing natural light and (occasional) raindrops on their leaves.

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MUBG Profile: Friends board recognizes a changing of the guard with gratitude and anticipation

Like most enterprises, Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) is steered by a board of directors working to help the garden fulfill its mission. One of Friends of the Mizzou Botanic board’s longest serving members is Larry McMullen, and one of its newest is John Phillips. McMullen, who is stepping down from his 18-year role on the MUBG board, recruited Phillips to take his place. Both gentlemen are distinguished, influential and proud Mizzou alumni and law partners at Husch Blackwell in Kansas City, personal histories the two men shared in this MUBG profile.

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Internationally recognized Missouri peony hybridizer shares outstanding introductions with MUBG

Don Hollingsworth, a native Missourian and MU alumnus living in Maryville, Mo., is an internationally recognized peony grower and hybridizer. In the fall of 2022, Mizzou Botanic Garden benefitted from Hollingsworth’s international peony breeding success and his generosity with his gift of several of his notable cultivars, which were added to the landscape surrounding the Francis Quadrangle last fall.

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MUBG Philanthropy: Alumni fund MUBG Tribute Bench near site of former Read Hall

A group of students who from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s served in student government roles and spent a lot of creative time together in Read Hall during their college days reunited on campus in 2019 and again in 2022. The group decided to commemorate their time together as students working in Read Hall with a Tribute Bench near the former site of the building, which, due to financial considerations, was demolished in 2022.

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MUBG Philanthropy: MU alumni honor former graduate program mentor and his wife with a Tribute Bench

A 1967 specialty graduate program in English and education led by Ben Nelms, a 20-year faculty member with the College of Education and Human Development, and the lifelong influence he and his wife Elizabeth had on four classmates, inspired them to dedicate a MUBG Tribute Bench in the couple’s honor.

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Grant funding adds arborist to Mizzou Botanic Garden’s staff

Mizzou Botanic Garden is using Missouri Department of Conservation TRIM grant funding to support training and testing for Landscape Services Groundskeeper Jeremy Grasela to become an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist. The certification will qualify him to work directly with the trees on campus.

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New campus landscape designer’s plant passion began on a windowsill

Zach Ignotz’s early experiences with houseplants while a Marine Corps infantryman led him to Mizzou and a curriculum focus on landscape design. He returned to his alma mater last fall as MUBG’s new landscape designer.

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Pea Ridge Nursery has grown to have one of Missouri’s most diverse tree inventories

Pea Ridge Nursery, located near Hermann, Mo., is a regular source of Mizzou Botanic Garden’s new trees. Beginning as a Christmas Tree Farm, Company President Mike Rood said the family-run business’ success is on the shoulders of business partners who freely shared their expertise with him.

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MUBG Tree Trail scavenger hunt developed for MU staff event; available online

MUBG partnered with Mizzou’s Staff Advisory Council to develop a Tree Trail scavenger hunt for MU’s Staff Appreciation Week following the garden’s three Tree Trails. The interactive scavenger hunt pdf is available online for any and all who would like to add a little challenge to a stroll through campus. The answers also are posted so you can check yourself.

Download and print the clues HERE. Answers can be checked online.

Linden removal on Arts & Science Mall

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” Time is always ripe to plant a tree. And sometimes the same can be said for tree removal. Such was the case with linden and locust trees growing on Mizzou’s Arts and Science Mall.

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Tribute Tree makes a perfect birthday gift for MU Journalism alum’s wife

Shawn Marsh learned of Mizzou Botanic Garden’s Tribute Tree program during his visits to campus for alumni committee meetings. He decided to dedicate a tricolor beech on the lawn of the chancellor’s residence to his wife, Lori for her birthday noting the “program is a way people can donate to MU that will be visible and will last a long time without naming a building.”

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Looking at the world through a tone-colored lens

During his first semester at MU as a doctoral student in media sociology, Cory MacNeil documented Landscape Services gardeners working to maintain Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG). His work resulted in a show that debuted at MUBG’s 2021 Jacquelyn K. Jones Lecture and then went on display in MU’s Reynold’s Journalism Institute.

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Mizzou Botanic Garden News You Can Use: Arboriculture

What do you do when you have questions about treating a tree in your landscape for what you suspect might be insect or pathogen damage? Or maybe you wonder if a tree growing in your yard that has been damaged or that is no longer flourishing and seems to be in decline might need to be removed? Ultimately, you should engage the services of a certified arborist.

Read more about arboriculture here.

Birders share their avian passions at Mizzou Botanic Garden lecture

A rapt crowd attended the annual Jacquelyn K. Jones lecture featuring Missouri Department of Conservation’s re-establishment of the brown-headed nuthatch in Missouri, online birding resources and Noah Strycker’s entertaining keynote on his year-long international adventures documenting more than half of the world’s bird species.

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Ceremony dedicates Legacy Oaks planted in observance of Missouri bicentennial

Two of Mizzou Botanic Garden’s (MUBG) Legacy Oaks, planted on the south lawn of the Missouri State Capitol in April, were dedicated in a an official ceremony on August 10 as part of the state’s bicentennial celebration.

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What a difference a genus can make

Increasingly, scientists and others are recognizing the important ecological, economic and cultural roles oak trees play in this country. MUBG takes a brief look at the genus and the roles oaks – specifically white oaks (Quercus alba) play in the lives of Missourians.

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Campus community garden builds on success

MUBG first highlighted its George Washington Carver community garden project in 2019. Garden Manager Daniel Yuhasz reports that in the summer of 2021, the Henry Kirklin Community Garden has doubled its participation and is thriving.

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Tribute Tree dedication honors life and legacy of journalism ethics scholar

Fran Lambeth could think of no better way to celebrate the life and accomplishments of her husband of 40 years, ethics scholar Ed Lambeth, than by dedicating a Mizzou Botanic Garden Tribute Tree at an on-campus memorial service in his honor on July 24, 2021. Lambeth chose a magnolia tree located outside of MU’s Walter Williams Hall; a magnolia because they “grow like grass” in Alabama, Ed’s home state, and close to MU’s School of Journalism where Ed spent much of his career.

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MU advancement director advances to retirement

After a satisfying 20-year career in advancement at MU and a year like no other, advancement director Tim McLaughlin considered his options and made the decision to step away from his position, retiring early in July 2021. McLaughlin notes that he took the job for the stability it offered but he got a lot more from his work than that.

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Pat and Sandy Hiatte make transformative MUBG gift commitment

A $5 million estate gift from MU Alumni Pat and Sandy Hiatte of New Bloomfield, Mo., is to be split equally by Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) and the School of Journalism.

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Partnering with MUBG to pass along the ‘bug’ for ecology research

MU assistant professor of biological sciences Lauren Sullivan discovered her passion for nature and research in a college ecology course. Using one of Mizzou Botanic Garden’s prairie-type plantings, she is introducing research to her ecology students and helping MUBG gauge the success of their efforts. Read more here.

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Tribute Tree demonstrates colleagues’ appreciation as Mark McIntosh retires

After 40 years of exemplary work at the University of Missouri, MU Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Mark McIntosh was honored with a Mizzou Botanic Garden Tribute Tree upon retiring.

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Planning, planting and maintenance keep MUBG’s operations manager satisfyingly busy

There’s always something to do when you’re the operations manager for a 1,262-acre campus and that’s just the way Blair Crosby likes it.

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All in a day’s work for thirty-three years

For more than three decades, Barb Sonderman worked at MU as a greenhouse technician, a greenhouse manager and as a teacher and admits to loving every minute of it. Sonderman retired in January leaving behind a trail of fond memories, great colleagues, greatful students and an arum named Stinker.

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Bee City USA® Renews MU’s Certification

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Mizzou Botanic Garden awarded MDC TRIM grant

Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG), which encompasses the entire MU campus, was awarded its third Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) Grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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Arbor Day Foundation honors University of Missouri with 2019 Tree Campus USA® recognition

For the third straight year, the University of Missouri was honored with Tree Campus USA® recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management.

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Landscape Services student positions improve students' career landscapes

For Mizzou students who work part time jobs, finding a position on campus is a definite advantage. And it s a real bonus to have the work relate to one's anticipated future career. Such is the case for MU seniors Brendan Ericson and Nick Mede who are working on the Landscape Services/Mizzou Botanic Garden crew under the direction of Blair Crosby, MU landscape operations manager.

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Evan Dalgaard Tribute Tree- MU freshman's bright but too short life memorialized in Mizzou Botanic Garden

Evan Dalgaard was a young man who from an early age thoughtfully and purposefully propelled himself forward to a future in service to others. Kirk and Joan Dalgaard's middle son was born in 1988 in St. Louis County and raised in Glendale with his brothers Erik and Bret.

Unfortunately, a tragic car accident in April 2008 cut Evan's aspirations and his promising life short.

Evan's aunt and uncle, Bruce and Carol Dalgaard, were moved to create a tribute for Evan at MU and were directed to Mizzou Botanic Garden Designer Joan Smith and MUBG's Tribute Tree program. Bruce said that his and Carol's love of education and nature made the Tribute Tree an easy choice. They selected an oak on the Carnahan Quad, in sight of the Evan's Scholar Chapter House and Hulston Hall. the MU law school.

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Area nursery is a perennial source for annual plants

Designing and installing revolving displays of annual flowers in selected Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) beds and container gardens falls to MUBG Horticulture Manager Jenna Rozum.

Annual flowers are disparagingly described by some as "one and done" bloomers because they last only one season. In truth, annuals furnish Rozum the opportunity to easily plant and replant landscapes two to three times each year in a revolving color palate and structure variations. In a MUBG 20-plus year plant partnership, Rozum works closely with Vintage Hill Nursery's Jeff Oberhaus BS AG '88 AF&NR to obtain her selections.

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Mizzou Botanic Garden launches campus community garden space

Under the umbrella of MUBG's George Washington Carver Community Garden Project, one of two proposed community gardens on campus, the Henry Kirklin Community Garden located at the former site of University Village, is well underway. The other, the Annie Fisher Community Garden, located at the Tara Apartments on the MU Campus, is set to launch in the summer of 2021.

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Benefactors pay Mizzou Legacy Oaks a visit to check progress

MUBG worked with Wayne Lovelace (BS AG '58 AF&NR) and Kim Lovelace-Young (BS AG '81 AF&NR), the father-daughter team who owns and operates Forrest-Keeling Nursery (F-KN), to supply replacements genetically adapted to the state's climate and soils. Located in Elsberry, MO., F-KN specializes in Missouri natives, carrying over 350 different species, mostly trees. Wayne has semi-retired from his life's work and Kim, a Mizzou alumna, now serves as company president. In July, Wayne and Kim visited the South Farm to see how the trees were faring.

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Woodland and Floral Garden student effort coincides with launch of MU campus beautification

In the late 70s, a handful of energetic horticulture students planned and executed an ambitious garden project located next to MU’s Agriculture Building, dedicated as the Woodland and Floral Garden in April 1980. The effort marked the beginning of a campus beautification project launched by Chancellor Barbara Uehling, which in turn led to the MU campus dedication as Mizzou Botanic Garden in 1999.

Read about students' efforts and MU campus beautification here.


MUBG awarded MDC TRIM Grant

Mizzou Botanic Garden was one of 38 Missouri Department of Conservation-awarded Tree Resource Improvement and Maintenance (TRIM) grant recipients in the 2019 funding cycle. The award targets removal of ash trees at risk of infection by the emerald ash borer as well as tree replacement. Read more here.


MUBG named Tree Campus USA® by Arbor Day Foundation

For the third year in a row, Mizzou Botanic Garden was designated a Tree Campus USA® by the Arbor Day Foundation. The program honors colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals in addition to meeting the Foundation's five standards. Read more here.


MUBG supports student floriculture programs

Mizzou Botanic Garden provides financial support to budding and newly accomplished floraculture students through both the Columbia Public Schools Career Center and MU’s Division of Plant Science Floral Design program. Both programs interest and prepare students for careers in the floral industry. Find out more here.


Sharon Schattgen dedicates Tribute Bench to her husband Robert, a long-time Columbia florist

When Sharon Schattgen's husband Robert Schattgen passed away unexpectedly in 2013, she made the decision to sponsor a Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) Tribute Bench in his honor. Located in what was then known as the Woodland and Floral Garden, which Robert loved, the bench also sits right outside of Tiger Garden, the MU student-sponsored floral shop, a space where Robert both attended classes and taught floral management.

"It's a lovely place to sit," Sharon said.

Read more about Robert's and Sharon's ties to MU and Columbia here.


Curiosity and a love of horticulture led Barbara Rothenberger to a life of learning and teaching about plants

Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) board member Barbara Rothenberger's love of plants began when she was a young girl admiring the flowers, ferns and a special red oak in her family's home in Carollton, Mo. Ultimately, her interest in plants and gardening led to a satisfying career teaching horticulture and a very fulfilling personal life gardening and traveling the world with husband Ray Rothenberger. Read more about Rothenberger’s exploits here


Ecologist encourages connection to science through work with plants and pollinators

In addition to utilizing MUBG’s gardens in her senior capstone course “Life of a Garden”, MU Professor of Biological Science Candace Galen engages students at MU in acoustic-based research into the behavior of bumblebees.

Galen also recruited grade-schoolers as citizen scientists to analyze the behavior of bees during the total eclipse in 2017. Their findings earned national attention.

Read more about Galen’s bee research, student involvement and future plans here.


Botanic Garden Tribute Benches honor and memorialize loved ones

Three Tribute Bench sponsors share the stories behind their tributes

Mizzou Botanic Garden Tribute Benches are classic style wrought-iron benches installed around the University of Missouri campus offering relaxing vantage points to enjoy the virtues of Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG). These benches additionally provide an opportunity to recognize, celebrate or memorialize a friend, family member or an occasion with a permanent on-campus legacy through MUBG’s Tribute Bench program.

Tribute Benches — which make a great gift for Tigers who “have everything” — are designated with a bronze plaque bearing a personalized message of the sponsoring donor’s choice.

Wayne and Jo Behymer, Ann Eisenhardt and Kathy Digges share their tribute stories.


Lifetime connection to Mizzou campus sparks board member’s involvement

Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) board member Cindy Mustard’s ties to the MU campus reach back to the University’s earliest days. The Conley House on the corner of Sanford and Conley, was built by her great-grandfather, Sandford Conley. In addition to her support of MUBG as a board member, Mustard’s passion and energy have changed many lives in Columbia and Boone County. Read more about her life and work here.


‘Georgia Champions of Landscape Gardening’ programs offered rare chance to rub shoulders with horticulture celebrities

Mizzou Botanic Garden and Friends of MUBG annually sponsor programs to highlight the work and mission of the garden and to attract new members. In September 2018, four high-profile garden experts — all with ties to the Peach State — traveled to the MU campus for MUBG’s “Georgia Champions of Landscape Gardening” program.

The first of two events, an MUBG Walkabout, was held in the morning. Featured guests Michael Dirr, Allan Armitage, Vince Dooley and Natalia Hamill led a group on a walking tour of portions of the MU campus, bantering back and forth, took turns discussing various annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs in the MUBG landscape. Read more about the walkabout and the observations of featured guests here.

In the afternoon, a book signing and symposium featured the Champs sharing their expertise on various topics and highlighting their current gardening passions. The symposium was followed by an ice cream social featuring everyone’s favorite Tiger Stripe ice cream. Read more about the program celebrities’ plant trend predictions and their passions here.


Journalism student’s job with Missourians for Monarchs and MUBG is an education

MU Journalism student Jessica Sherwin’s part time communications job with Missourians for Monarchs and the Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) resulted in full time appreciation for the orange and black “creatures who weigh less than a paperclip.” She also has developed a deep respect for the “intelligent and thoughtful community of people” who work to educate citizens about the importance of increasing and improving habitat for pollinators, and those who work in support of the MU campus garden. Read about Jessica’s rewarding work with both organizations here.


Career-inspired enthusiasm for all things MU includes support for MUBG

Gary L. Smith attributes his 30-year career working with students as the University of Missouri’s director of admissions and as registrar for the youthful energy that has infused his life since his retirement in 2000. His time on campus has convinced him that “perception is key,” making him an enthusiastic advocate and supporter of Mizzou Botanic Garden. Read about his life and his long-view into the history of the campus that became a garden here.


MUBG takes the pledge; invasives beware

Late in September 2018, Mizzou Botanic Garden (MUBG) joined forces with other Missouri conservation groups to fight the spread of invasive species at an event on the MU campus. MUBG Director Pete Millier signed the Missouri Invasive Plants Task Force pledge to identify and control invasive species on the MU campus and to refrain from planting them in the future. Read about the pledge event and the ceremonial removal of a Bradford pear, and learn how you too can become a pledgee here.


Legacy Tribute Tree memorializes beloved husband

As part of the University of Missouri’ Legacy Tribute Tree program, Susan Stalcup Gray purchased a Korean Fir as a Christmas gift for her husband Tom to memorialize their life together. Read more about the couple and their ties to MU here.