Meet the Honorary Chairpersons for Under a Blue Moon 2010

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Meet the Honorary Chairpersons for Under a Blue Moon 2010

Categories: Blog, Under a Blue Moon

This post was written by Marketing Chairperson for the Under a Blue Moon 2010 event, Lynn Douthat, of Shawnee Mission, KS. 
Honorary Chairpersons for 2010

Nick and Mary Ann Powell bring their enthusiasm for Powell Gardens and all it represents to their role as Honorary Co-Chairs for the upcoming Under A Blue Moon Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction.

Every year since 2003 (except 2009 when everyone’s attention was on the opening of Heartland Harvest Garden), this signature event has created interest and envy among both the committed and aspiring gardeners of metropolitan Kansas City. This year the event is scheduled for Sunday, June 13.  

“It’s a congenial event and creates a connection among gardeners,” Mary Ann and Nick agree.  “We give all the credit to those who deserve it—bidders, volunteers and especially co-chairs Katherine Barton and Mary Biber for mounting this great event.”

“Our role is to write letters, make calls, be ready and willing to do whatever is needed to make this a success. We want table hosts to bring friends, introduce new people to the Gardens. We encourage people to come early and walk around the gardens,” Nick said. “We want good, strong members; people who will enjoy the great experience and continue to come back repeatedly; people who will provide ongoing support for our mission.” 

That mission is for Powell Gardens to be an experience that inspires an appreciation for the importance of plants in our lives.

Long before Under a Blue Moon, Heartland Harvest Garden and Big Bugs, Nick remembers rafting in the small fishing pond at the dairy farm his grandfather George Powell had acquired. That small pond has since been excavated to create the lake that now encircles the Island Garden and the hillside Meadow Garden.

Nick, along with his brothers, aunts and father, representing the Powell Family Foundation, ensured that the almost 1,000-acre tract of land would be repurchased from the Boy Scouts organization, to which it had been gifted years before. To set in motion a plan to create Kansas City’s treasured botanical garden, the designers of the Chicago Botanic Garden were asked to assess the property. They proclaimed the location as being topographically perfect for a botanical garden and developed a master plan. In the 20 years since the transformation began, Powell Gardens has become a part of the region’s culture.

“It’s different things to different people,” Nick said. “It’s a wonderful place to take your family and share the experience together. The family events are popular; dinosaurs, Big Bugs and butterflies. You can enjoy the walks and gardens. It’s educational and relaxing at the same time.”

“And it improves our quality of life and is cheaper than a spa!” laughs Mary Ann. 

Nick said the serene, rural location makes it a perfect day trip: “It’s a full day’s outing just like Renaissance Festival or Worlds of Fun. There’s so much traffic passing by on the way to the lakes. Hopefully, one day we’ll have produce stands selling fresh produce for them to take along on their trip.”

“We want to raise awareness of the importance and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables; the excitement of gardening, harvesting and cooking freshly picked produce. A visit to the Gardens will reveal lots more to eat than you would ever have thought about,” he adds.

The timing seems propitious. The local food initiative, the White House vegetable garden and the economy are conspiring to raise our consciousness of the importance of healthy eating; what Nick calls “seed to plate” nutrition.

“Missouri is an agricultural state,” he said. “Here, visitors can learn all about indigenous plants.  Powell Gardens enhances the quality of life for the entire community. There’s nothing else like it.”

To learn more about Under a Blue Moon Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction, how to get involved and for contact details, be sure to catch our previous post by clicking here.