May 12, 2011

Missouri's Botanical Gardens Join, Support 10,000 Garden Challenge

Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler announced today that the Missouri Department of Agriculture's 10,000 Garden Challenge has two new partners in the effort to get Missourians back to the soil.

Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is offering one free admission to each Challenge participant. Powell Gardens in Kansas City is offering one free admission to Challenge participants with the purchase of a regular-price admission.

Those donations represent a $150,000 contribution to Missouri gardeners, in addition to the contributions of Missouri's botanical gardens on the "Learn" area of the 10,000 Garden Challenge website, including lesson plans, resources and activity ideas to incorporate gardening into classrooms and community programs.

"The response to the 10,000 Garden Challenge has been outstanding, both from individuals and community groups registering their gardens and in terms of support from those in the horticulture industry," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We are thrilled to add two of Missouri's botanical gardens as partners, and look forward to seeing the Missourians' involvement in the 10,000 Garden Challenge grow just like gardens throughout the state."

Individuals, as well as school and community groups, who have previously registered their gardens can expect to receive an email from the 10,000 Garden Challenge including instructions to claim their free admissions to the Missouri Botanical Garden and Powell Gardens. In the future, participants will receive those instructions during the registration process for the 10,000 Garden Challenge.

The Missouri Botanical Garden, located in St. Louis, is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark, and home to both research and educational efforts. Powell Gardens is a private, not-for-profit botanical garden located on 915 acres just east of Kansas City, Mo.

On March 14th, Governor Nixon, the First Lady, and Director Jon Hagler of the Missouri Department agriculture challenged Missourians to register 10,000 gardens in the state of Missouri and put them on a map to promote gardening, health and nutrition throughout the state.

Since then, over 10,000 people have visited the 10,000 Garden Challenge website to gain valuable information and over 2,500 gardeners have signed up to help reach the goal of registering 10,000 gardens. As an incentive for registering, for every 1,000 gardens registered a drawing is held for a $500 gift certificate from Tractor Supply Company. Two Missouri gardeners have also won $500 gift certificates from Tractor Supply Company.

With the help of some of Missouri's horticulture industry leaders, including Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Stark Brothers Nursery and Morgan County Seeds, ten groups' gardens will win trees, seeds and tools to help them grow through the School & Community Gardens Contest. To learn more about opportunities to be a part of the 10,000 Garden Challenge, visit

For more information on the Missouri Department of Agriculture and its programs, visit