Scenic USA - Oklahoma

Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory

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Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Complete with over 2000 exotic tropical plants right in the center of the city, the Myriad Botanical Gardens feature one of the amazing engineering feats of the late 20th century. Ideas for this tropical garden first surfaced with famous architect Ieoh Ming Pei back in the mid 60s. Located in Oklahoma City, the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Crystal Bridge Conservatory were finally opened in 1988. The 17 acre park is fully landscaped and surrounds a sunken lake, cascading waterfall, dog park, Meinders Meadow, a childrens garden and tree-lines pathways. The main feature, housing tropical plants from six continents, is the 224 foot Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Supported by a massive steel rib cage, the conservatory is glassed over with 3000 Exolite acrylic panels.
   Inside the Crystal Bridge, plants species are divided into two zones. The south end, watered daily, is the tropical wet zone, using water filtered and balanced by reverse osmosis. A tropical waterfall, dropping 35 feet from Wet Mountain is certainly a crowd pleaser. On the north end, in the Tropical Dry Zone, water is limited to a natural pattern from April to September, remaining dry during the winter months. Myraid Botanical Gardens Light Sculpture Pathways lead through giant tropical palms, bromeliads, begonias and thousands of orchids. Long-wing zebra butterflies float throughout the gardens, while amphibians roam under the thick undergrowth. Visitors may get a bird's-eye-view from an overhead catwalk. Each night the conservatory glows with an array of constantly changing colors. The newly installed LED lighting system is not only cost effective, but it no longer presents the problems of previous melting gels and cumbersome filters. Proving to be a dramatic lightshow, the Myriad Botanical Park not only provides entertainment, but an education experience as well.

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