In February of 2011, Dr. Clarence Oliver & Beverly Forester first met to discuss the idea of returning Broken Arrow to its beautiful 1920-50s history as “The City of Roses & Sparkling Spring Water”. They met over coffee at Panera Bread, inviting others to join as the vision grew. The grass roots movement “Bring Back the Roses” became Forester’s Leadership Broken Arrow 2011 Project & in September 2012 became the Bring Back the Roses Committee of Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful. This faithful hardworking committee has planted rose gardens, sponsored rose care classes & encouraged citizens, city & civic leaders to embrace Broken Arrow’s history.
Much has happened due to the hard work of the Bring Back the Roses committee.
- In September 2012, Broken Arrow’s City Council chose The Rose District for the revitalization of downtown. Nearly 1000 rose bushes have been planted along Main Street and more are planned!
- In 2015 the city donated 6.5 acres in Central Park to design, build & maintain a beautiful Rose Garden that is planned to not only beautify but provide a destination for people to visit Broken Arrow.
- The Rose Festival & Rose Show of the 1920s have also been successfully recreated and have grown in size and variety each year. This year the 6th annual Rose Festival is partnering with Chalk It Up! Art Festival, to create a full weekend of roses, art, music & activities including Rose Kites over Broken Arrow.
After 8 years of operating as Bring Back the Roses, it is time to update the committee’s image because the roses are definitely back! This committee has become the Rose Committee of Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful. This change is reflected in the retirement of the Bring Back the Roses Facebook page. Now all Rose events are publicized on the page Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful.
Bring Back the Roses will always hold a special place in the hearts of everyone involved. Their encouragement in the early days was “Whoever you are, whatever you’re doing, see if you can find a way to Bring Back the Roses.” And people did! So, here’s to our town, our wonderful people & leaders who made it all happen!
Current Rose Committee members are:
Dianne Nail, Master Gardener, Tulsa Rose Society, Rose Show co-chair, original member
John Maxwell, Master Gardener, HOA leader, original member
Barbara Kunze, Rose Show co-chair
Georgeana Rainwater, Welcome Booth
Bobby Rainwater, Welcome Booth
Doris Holloway, Welcome Booth & treasurer
Jena Rhea, Art Contest
Becky Deed, Marketing & Art Contest
Carol Puckett, Master Gardener, Tulsa Rose Society, marketing
Dr. Travis Ring, Kites co-chair
Cindy Snodgrass, Kites
Bill Forester, T-shirts
Karen & Stu Barrett, Rose specialists
Debra Parkhurst, Social Media & Website
Sharon Atcheson, Rose Garden Committee
Shane Hickey, Floats
Dr. Clarence Oliver, founding leader & continuous supporter
Beverly Forester, Rose Committee Chair, Rose Festival Chair
If you’re interested in joining the fun, contact the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.