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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Fundraising campaign underway for new bandstand at The Botanic Garden at OSU

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University has been home to a spring and fall concert series for several years. In an effort to enhance visitors’ experiences, the concerts have been moved outside of the main garden to the new Event Lawn near the sycamore allée.

Laura Payne, OSU Cooperative Extension associate/volunteer coordinator at The Botanic Garden at OSU, said this area is much larger and offers visitors more shade in the late afternoon and early evening when the concerts take place.

“Because we have so much more room in this area compared to where we previously hosted the concerts, we’re planning to build a bandstand that will be used for the bands that perform,” Payne said. “The structure being built also can be used for other educational opportunities, as well as other activities and events at the garden.”

Lou Anella, director of The Botanic Garden at OSU, said the campaign goal is $15,000 to $20,000. An anonymous donor has agreed to match the first $5,000 in donations as an incentive for people to donate.

A $50 donation includes a membership to Friends of the Botanic Garden. A $500 donation gets the donor, a loved one or their company listed as a sponsor on a sign that will be displayed on the bandstand.

“The funds raised will be used to pay for the electrical upgrade that has already been completed, along with the bandstand itself,” Anella said. “We’re also planning to install outdoor lighting.”

He also noted the bandstand will be a great area to hold children’s events on Saturday mornings, or as additional meeting space if the Educational Center already is booked.

“This whole idea was Laura’s and we’re going to name the bandstand Laura’s Bandstand in her honor,” Anella said. “Laura has been working at the garden for almost 20 years and this is a great way to honor her dedication.”

Payne said she was thrilled when she learned the bandstand would be named in her honor. 

“I was shocked, completely overwhelmed and honored that my passion for the garden hasn’t gone unnoticed,” Payne said. “I fell in love with the garden the first time I came out here on a field trip for my hort 1013 class and knew this was where I wanted to spend the rest of my life. As they say, find your passion and you will never work another day in your life. That statement is true almost every day for me.”

Donation forms may be downloaded from The Botanic Garden at OSU’s website at While on the site, check out the calendar of events to see what else is happening at the garden.

The concerts and other events at The Botanic Garden at OSU are offered free of charge thanks to the support of Hideaway Pizza, Kicker, Arts and Humanities Council of Stillwater, OSU Office of the President, Flourishes Flowers and the Sheerar Museum.

“The Botanic Garden at OSU is an amazing place and this is an opportunity to make it even better for our visitors,” Payne said.



CUTLINE INFORMATION: When construction is complete, Laura Payne is ready to hang the sign on the bandstand will be been named in her honor at The Botanic Garden at Oklahoma State University. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

 Trisha Gedon
Communications Specialist
Agricultural Communications Services
Oklahoma State University
136 Agriculture North
Stillwater, OK  74078
405-744-3625 (phone)
405-744-5739 (fax)


Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078