the great outdoors: Memorial Garden

Joey Hill

Kauffman Memorial Garden offers excellent relaxation space close to campus

The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden is recognized as the oasis down the street. Just past the Rockhill Road bridge lies a lone, stone complex, and its contents can only be observed by passing through a small side doorway leading from the parking lot.

The Memorial Garden opened in 2000 and has become the resting place of the Kauffmans. Ewing Kauffman received extensive recognition in the Kansas City area due to donating millions of dollars to the city and founding the Kansas City Royals.

While less than half an acre large, the Memorial Garden fosters an extensive variety of both native and foreign plants and feels more personal than other botanical parks like Powell Gardens. The distinct architectural elements, as well as the overall composition and design of the space, add to the inclusive warmth of the garden.

Upon entering the garden, the soft trickle of fountains overpowers all extraneous sounds. A stone path leads through the lush and rich landscape. Suddenly one will feel part of the jewel-filled haven. The visitors are allowed to slow down and appreciate the intense beauty of the space.

Colorful flowers line the edges of the garden, seeming to be straight from the pages of Lewis Carroll. The garden exudes a distinct and natural flow, which pulls the visitor into the fantasy. The roses and lilacs are vibrant. One could imagine them alive with song and merriment. A single, graceful push of a leaf could reward one audience with a particularly philosophical blue caterpillar.

A large rectangular fountain dotted with three bronze dancers is the centerpiece of the garden. The statues seem to be caught  by the intense beauty of their surroundings.  This fountain adds to the serenity of the garden.

Being a literal stone’s throw away from campus, the Kauffman Memorial invites and promises a serene escape. The garden changes with the seasons but holds an elemental beauty year round. From the heat of the summer, to the vibrant palette of the fall, to the stoic stillness of winter and the graceful rebirth of spring, the garden reminds one to reflect and enjoy nature.

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