A Broken Arrow Rose Story:
A tale of two groups of visionaries…Bring Back the Roses and the Downtown Advisory Board
Broken Arrow, like many small towns, over time suffered a decline of it’s downtown area, becoming just another “bedroom community” in a metropolitan area. Broken Arrow needed a new vision, a new direction. Two groups, The Downtown Advisory Board and Bring Back the Roses would each seek to revitalize Broken Arrow.
This week’s blog: Bring Back the Roses
It was Saturday, February 26, 2011 at Broken Arrow’s Performing Arts Center, the premier of the “The History of Broken Arrow.” Dr. Clarence Oliver had narrated the DVD which included “The City of Roses and Sparkling Spring Water.” Beverly Forester and her husband, Bill, loved to travel and visit many festivals, such as the Muskogee Azalea Festival, Tyler Texas Rose Festival, The Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan, and the Blue Bonnet Festivals in Texas.
They knew what having a beautiful identity could mean to a city.
The reception prompted Dr. Oliver and Beverly Forester to discuss Broken Arrow’s history as The City of Roses. Would it be possible to bring back this beautiful part of our history? Wouldn’t it be fun to try? They began meeting at Panera Bread and quickly recruited Mark Stelljes, rose expert and owner of Roses Inc. Dr. Oliver points out, “It all began with 2 cups of coffee and a napkin.”
Educating and exciting the community about roses was the first priority. They asked if citizens knew that Broken Arrow was once called The City of Roses and Sparkling Spring Waters. Not surprisingly, the majority answered no.
Dr. Oliver shared the adventure with city leaders and civic groups, while Beverly met with downtown merchants and garden groups. There were business cards sharing the vision.