Donor Education Event

Legacy of Margaret Annis Boys Donor Education Event banner

Make plans to join us at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 13 at Will Rogers Gardens for a unique donor education opportunity as we explore the impact philanthropy has made on parks and public spaces in central Oklahoma while highlighting the legacy of Margaret Annis Boys.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Will Rogers Gardens

The OCCF’s Brian Dougherty, our Parks and Public Space Initiative director known for his expertise in landscape architecture, and Joe Carter, vice president for development, encourage Oklahoma City Community Foundation donors to join them for a private walking tour of Will Rogers Gardens and the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum. The walking tour will be followed by lunch and a question and answer session on how donors can use their philanthropy to make a greater impact on the causes they care most about – not just parks and community beautification. If you are unable to participate in the walking tour, you’re still more than welcome to join us for the lunch presentation.

These events are only for OCCF donors
11 a.m. | Private Walking Tour of Will Rogers Gardens with Brian Dougherty
11:45 a.m. | Lunch & Q&A Session with Brian Dougherty and Joe Carter

These events are open to the general public
1 p.m. | Public Presentation with Brian Dougherty
1:30 p.m. | Self-Guided Walking Tour of Will Rogers Gardens
OCCF and Will Rogers Gardens staff will be stationed at designated areas for questions.

History of Will Rogers Gardens & the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum

A tree in the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum at Will Rogers Park

Ninety years ago, Oklahoma City’s first horticulturist, Henry Walters, helped Oklahoma City and the National Parks Service develop a comprehensive plan that would designate a 30-acre parcel of Northwest Park (renamed Will Rogers Gardens in 1937) into a horticultural display park. With the help of the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, creeks were dammed to build two ponds, constructed rock entryways, arbors, picnic shelters, footbridges and a large amphitheater – many of which still exist today. A large collection of native and non-native trees and shrubs were planted on the west half of the parcel for display and field observation. The east half became home to a wide array of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials planted along winding paths and in various garden settings. The east half was also home to the garden exhibition center, greenhouses, a conservatory and a rose garden.

Unfortunately, age, neglect and a loss of priority in the 1980s and 1990s caused the gardens to deteriorate. Thanks to a planned gift by Oklahoma City schoolteacher Margaret Annis Boys, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation and the Oklahoma City Parks Department were able to place a dedicated focus on the revitalization of the area, helping Will Rogers Gardens and the Margaret Annis Boys Arboretum to once again, be a crown jewel in our community.