ISSUES 2017 11/12/17

Steve McIntosh
Thursday, November 9th

Executive director Marty Miller discusses Wichita's Botanica Gardens and Illuminations, with nearly 2 million lights


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is issues Tony seventeen I'm Steve Macintosh and guest is Marty Miller executive director which it does put to advocate. They've already welcome to issues Tony seventeen. I just they've been good to be here you're in a little bit under is having some problems this morning so you have to call he's going to do it costs we producer I think let's begin with a little bit of history tell us about debt held Tenet who got started Marty. Actually the doors open in 1987. It was an idea of garden clubs and the city of Wichita. City which dog came in stepped up help finance the building everything to get started and and that issues this is a garden and has grown into a great community except it's and it's really interesting how that gardens has just become something else. How many. Visitors as two but etiquette and years' time Marty last year we had over 220000. Visitors. And most of them show up in December. How does that rate spread to a point definite right to brief pretty high at their visitor attraction or number two behind as it locally. Yes or not from the stars and Kansas. I think there's a zoo in Salina numbers so okay who wouldn't. Where are these people come from the get to visit content. Our state they come from. Well we don't corporate a lot of support from the local community tour and all around the region and we have. People that come from all over the world. What do they say. Well they can they say this is one of the best guards they've ever seen. And that's it could answer real compliment typically. I'd I was spent about a month ago spent a few weeks in France and visit the gardens over their collar working on a French garden. And the people account from France's C or Gartner are amazed that we can do what we do. And also from China when they visit our Chinese garden. They when they come out they'll tell me. That they felt like they've just been home. Brittany yeah that's it that would be a compliment that's a big government. Well yeah it just didn't get a couple of few words how would you describe all there is to see. In Britannica as somebody who comes in is a stranger's of the news FC well here's what we got in just a few words. A fugitive. Who spoke with the panic there really is a unique place it's a canvas. Of garden. With. Themed gardens like her children's garden or Chinese garden Shakespeare garden are woodland gardens. And it's absolutely. Amazing how he can this walk a few steps and be in another. Another part of the garden of an experience a whole new different experience. That was good you do all of that actually. Now before we go any further I wanna talk a little bit about the carousel. Don't have secures Elwood came from the old join and park. And you've got an ad Britannica now right. And what's going on right now with a carousel and the carousel itself. Is almost complete. There will probably do a mock setup and that's the restoration of a carousel as one of them was a big project all by itself. The horses Serbian redone the corners all the mechanical parts. And the support we have gotten from different businesses in the community to do that that has been absolutely great. Now we're working on the building project. And that the building itself. Has about a ten million dollar project were worth about a million into the project. That people have donated. Burst that naming rights for the building this is still available. And there's a lot of naming rights available for the the garden areas around the building which this'll probably be in a five acre addition. And it's absolutely. Going to be tremendous with the designs that we have live interactive gardens that you can actually get in and do things and it's all going to be family oriented. And it's it it's just just going to be spectacular. That's about the best word I can use to. To explain what is happening and that the carousel itself will be like a jewel and a jewel box. He'll be absolutely amazing and we'll have one of the finest buildings in the country. So the united go over and take over the first 45 holes of sim golf course to do this year but the no well I already had some threats from some golfers. But now now where were not about the same family has given us permission that we can expand further. And to the park because they love what we're doing here. For families and our community at botanic. Now you just about to begin or you already have the very busy time of the Seneca eliminations. Just around the corner. Tell us about that when blend is eliminations and how many lights are gonna have this year and I hear you were talking about a million things. Well we're getting close to may have lies illumination was actually starts the that Friday evening after Thanksgiving. And wing and we were open every single night except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Through New Year's Eve and on New Year's Eve we put on a we're started a firework show last year we're gonna do it again this year and it was spectacular and won this for some reason when it's cold. Fireworks are so much beautiful. And the Warner contained there and then when the weather's warm so we're looking forward to that. And this year we've started a behind the scenes tour. And you can you come earlier about 4:30 or 4 o'clock. A tour guide we'll take you through and show you just exactly what it takes to put on the to put up the panic. The eliminations. So were. I can say we're open pretty close to two million lights and also the the lie being with all the computers the controllers that were the lights work with the music awards show Libya or hanging important. But on the shows. That's. Intricate thing all by itself that's interesting to see how that's done so. The that the ticket price that is 25 per person but you get to stay. You get your tickets to illumination and you also get hot drink. As some snacks and it's going to be it's going to be another great thing so it's an opportunity for family to come and say wow. I didn't know there was as many lights when you see in the daytime. And you see at night then you can really see how it's put together yet. Well and in besides of course leave the lights in the eliminations and and all of that. During his time at and Metallica they're other features are there not I mean of course you give refreshments that he said there is some time here. Yes and it's an error and he's he's star he'll be there that in the evening after Thanksgiving. And if if there's still people out there who haven't gotten their tickets to see supper was Sanong. That's four nights hand that's him and we party had some nights sold out about this so you need to call. And find out there's any openings but supper was sent us a great event and hopefully I'll have my voice back by Dan and and we sing I loved to sing with the kids. And we'll sink some Christmas songs like Rudolph the red grows and the reindeer and of course that's Santa's favorite song sure. And down and prost in the Stoneman and frost you'll be there. This and it reads the night before Christmas. And the and the from the kids come up and they gather all around on the carpet in front of the and trust and a and he reads like before Christmas it's just it's you can just see the the mystery of Christmas on the rise and it's just some. Magical miss kids a magical night have you done supper was sent a before and oh yes I didn't know that India just reload and we started to it's she I think it's been about four maybe five years ago we just did one night yet and it's grown in the form sites. It's such a damn popular demand Marty when you sent. That's that starts you re right barriers in place now have to. I'll have to find them but I just like a second week of December and it starts okay. Give closes but that you need to call the panic and make reservations reservations only all right that's a good day to Google and what what's a full never protect your sixth floor 0448. And Michelle reservations and who was sent right. Comedy you know we talk you've been back do illumination for just a minute you talked about. The attendance that you get at the tendon during the year but. Have you any idea can you narrow that down eliminations how many actually just come for that or during that time Jerry to settle a little over 70000. Yes first there's its huge weekend did give me the dates. Starts that day the day after. Thanksgiving yet on Friday. And it goes to the 31 and ghost of the other difference is the only nights we're close to Christmas Eve and Christmas and do it how are gonna handle those visitors. I mean in one year that I I actually I think we parked over closer to the Indian center and took it to little shuttle or something that is correct. Let's direct effect we have more shuttles so he would be moving people faster this year. And also we have a grasp parking lot that just west of cal talent and we'll have a general like generator over there. We use the send off course and of course our parking lot and then some people collecting climb on the shirt perk on the streets but done. We can we can handle. Up to 5000 people pretty easy. And out the gate doing it well as as best if you can come and now. School is out on the 18 December the eighteenth so you have Monday through. Friday and work all the way to the Tony forth. To him to come. So it is there's usually we can work this out where we have plenty of argument if thereby tries to come on the last two days before Christmas from me and track coach at it. Are you listening to issues Tony seventeen on the intercom radio stations are just as Marty Miller executive director which does the tentative so I guess. Marty are the holiday is the busiest time then and Patel again. Well during the during that month of December it is the busiest time but there's. Like we're putting up that we can put up to Christmas lights since August. And right now we're getting down to the critical stage. And we plant tulips. At the same camera putting up Christmas lights so really today the number one thing that they makes pertaining to work. Is the volunteers. So we'll have a team of volunteers out there are no plan between thirteen to 151000 tulips a day. We're planning 60000. Tulips that will be coming up in the spring which is a beautiful displayed by itself. That's the same time we have another team. It's actually put up lights and getting everything ready we have to coordinate that caused me if you remember the luminaries said that go around the sidewalks weren't. How we have to coordinate when the tulips going and then when the luminaries got down we don't want a conflict with that went into planning so as complicated it is. That's what logistics involved there that young yet any idea how many volunteers you actually and I were over 300 I know that. And some of male volunteer once and some numbers there every week twice a week. And effect later on today which is Wednesday. We have volunteer coffee and we have one of those every month can I get to tell jokes. Let's sounds like a good idea at. I so I I you know in the tent get you situated right there. Close or into us impart and your view you're right in the middle of Riverside and I know there are tons of people living in that area who already. You know they just they love flowers and and nature themselves on an image in the a lot of your volunteers come from right around there right around your building. Almost just about in the we have people coming from and over when I was senator. From what from all over and a lot of our volunteers from not only voluntary Britannica that the volunteer to other places as well I mean. And in the we are looking for. A new group of volunteers helped because there's a lot of guys like us are just retiring looking for something to do. Panic as a great place stood there and there's all kinds of activities to do to volunteer for besides just planning plants. How many employees CNN. End any summer we have 38. Inning usually drops to about mourning turned a corner. Dale and tuck you a little bit more about and upcoming events. You I think you mentioned this briefly but tell us about New Year's Eve at botanical. What could be around December 31 and that's pretty. Close have prospered post. We'll have. We'll probably we'll have some music I'm sure we'll have some music and then we'll have the fireworks display and it's very interesting that much great to see and that happens about 8 o'clock. So when people come they bring their families of fireworks are over you still have time if you wanna go out celebrate New Year's I'm gonna have to wait till midnight don't we go away to men is obviously played differently Meebo. So that did netted him for more information on that. Contact Danica Wright or guard our website and Danica dot org did you did and forgive me did you do anything special Halloween it. What is not on Halloween day and then but earlier in October we had. Doomed Titanic. Right now and now you're helping me that's an all day family event we had 4400 people come guessed they came for that. And that had a great time and unfortunately the weather was absolutely beautiful. And it's it's a great family time during that during that that. The chip permitted to know if you would Marty highlight some of the other big events that you do throughout the years there has attempted. Well we start off in the spring. With an event called tulips fairies imports. And it's every weekend for the first four. Weekends and well straight weekends and in March and when we can and April. And we basically. Take advantage of that and we selena's little fairy cities around and wolf and you find them told me. And and in that early spawned some analysis during eliminations we have an elf on the shelf still on the shelf helpful on the shelf so he. The family is confined the elf in the gardens. And he'll be entered into when a prize like the prize is going to be. A a year membership family membership and he's. But anyway I then after that we have an adult event it's called bloom some bruised and bloody marys have big bloody Mary contest. And that that's that's a good one point me conscious how many you can drink or Clinton none out. Yeah let me clarify yeah yeah yeah. Though there'll be different restaurants there and you get to sample the bloody Mary's number and hope that you wits about eleven restaurants. And it's it's great event and we have a winner and they carry that. Prestige throughout the years that they want the ball in America as a mechanic demonstrates that we have take flight and that's during the river festival that's our butterfly release so listen to us. And the first 100 kids get an envelope with the butterfly and it and it's. And that's magical when they open up that envelope Mubarak like crawls out Crowe left arm and then flies like you lament. Then later in the after the summer we have far it's an Al fresco can't. But this year the theme has changed from sand to vying. So it's a wind event. And we usually and what how what's hell Al this is all turned out is that. Blue moon catering comes in and they set up and they actually cook the food right there while you're watching it play Hungary and fresh. Cooked food and you can order what you want practically. And and what seasonings and things that you want it's it's quite an experience minutes ago we had done. There was almost a thousand that came from blooms ever bloody marys and we had another 800 the came to. Divine event. And then there are falling demand then as Britannica. And we have we have so many. Weddings and so many other into birthday only digging into big levee ruptured adjustment to children's garden the children's garden here. That's that's a magical place it is debt and yup and and always tell who typically an adult he's do you tell about children's gardening kind ago and I. Secret about the children's garden is that is was actually made for adults to act like kids. Looked OK because when you walk underneath that rainbow you've become a kid again that's the magic magic is that okay absolutely magic. And I like my walk into the studio yeah. Scholarly. And it any it's you'll be surprised. The things that we could end. The children's garden you'll see families doing things together. And it. And children come out and are happy you know and they were making those smiles and the families are happy and and they. Everybody is doing things together and they're enjoying themselves and that's that's exactly what we had. Had designed the garden to do and it has become a model around the country. That's what you pay off for you're doing your job and they pay you a whole lot of money then a whole lot fifteen feet deep with. You personally have a favorite to time of the year if you gardens I mean. Unit is to me if I love her side in the autumn that's much different from beyond spring I liked if that changes of the lead scholars and all that stuff but you. Well you know yes items beautiful I hate to pick a time that's my special time. Because I never get tired. And you develop a passionate but panic and the and you may be seen something in the spring time. And I'm stand something different but Faneca bike the bike to tulips Lee Curtis and it's amazing regrets and UCL a different colors. And and how the theory is if it's just it's just beautiful tickle on a morning in as little dew on the tulips that the two sparkle. So I'm losing my voice again and anyway and yeah does it. Just got a couple moments here. But indeed your dish and every beat him in very political about air every season every single dad has some kind of special. Scenes experience. And and it's just it's just actually. He's began to talk about this a few minutes ago and I wanna follow up on that you're talking about. Beyond the that is scheduled events and so forth. You do all kinds of that is special things for this is a private deal he can you can now rent a rent of botanic for how are your facilities to. Four weddings for instance you do a lot of weddings. We rebuild our weddings. And and it's a special place further particularly that kind of experience because weddings are special days. Town. And it's just one of those things that. Easy in nature and you get married he and you're never forget it. Death to be special to me what to do usual going into a church or whatever and I think you know I've seen outdoor weddings in different places this would be. The ideal spot for a wedding and doesn't he do any family reunions unlimited family reunions with the corporate events yeah corporate event to be fun to its. It's fun and we had a session that there are group out their yesterday. And they. Words in their training they can. Thank you have different things and go different places so there theme yesterday was the go to China. What better place to have it in our Lotus hall in front of the Chinese garden you can but this is but that's where we make the screen maker money. And eliminations is the biggest fund raiser we have. So what we do and we turn around and it's the other groups that we work quit. What which stars littlest heroes big Brothers big sisters Boys and Girls Club rainbows the Wichita children's home. All those benefit. From Britannica success. And so when a donor donates to the Tamika. They're helping more than just the panic. And we really concentrate on those organizations. That are helping children. Beyond that how are you funded. Each city money yeah she's we have for city employees OK and basically. That's the main. Support from the city they do support this with one of the buildings or buildings that were in. And and they help us that was some other areas but mainly. It's it's not you know it's basically the salaries before employs the other employees which would be 25 more. Or 35 more goals are all the panic ink employees. And I'm probably one of the few city employees and has some imperil. Which is an interesting thing in our home and not anti deters Steve our payroll runs derided about a million dollars sure. I would think oh Kessel. That too when you go to these events he'll find as was going IDF. He you know you have some pretty big private donors I don't want to mention anybody but Diaw wandered to the British jumped through every year we what we have. A lot of sponsorships. From corporations and companies OK they get their names on our advertising to refer eliminations. And then it's our capital campaign whereas we're the big donors come and look at hand and we're very grateful for them. It's our donors the volunteers the community that has made has made the Danica. The attraction that it is now you said earlier years euros and of volunteers. In each of younger people don't you. At least our age affect. That you really need younger we're in. Well like I most are volunteers they're getting up and their eighties and we had some volunteers that are in their mind set volunteer for us. And but and they need support you know it takes us younger guys to support it well and you want to EG did you didn't mention about a special events a minute ago and I know about this first and you do reunions too don't you. Yes a lot of mergers. Involved. You know like I really can't say how many we do but we do a lot of memory and Stanley real retirement programs I would program get them to have people familiar they have their retirement offense there. Okay I guess have we would stay with if you have heard anything today that it. Tickled your imagination about Metallica and you'd like more information. You can go out there there web page which is what did you rabbit there's panic about or it is attendant to dot org and if you're just. Old fashioned like Marty can via the telephone or yourself on. And call 264. 0448. Correct knowledge forgiveness to the point where your operator retire there and they'll Marty how he gonna keep doing his thing. For a while if for awhile and I. That's the passion that keeps me there it's. You know if I'm very lucky to be working somewhere I generally don't call work. I feel like I'm one of them had volunteers. You know because as you get to do all kinds of things and is it just makes you feel good to work it did you see you make people happy. And your hometown guy and we like it where were appreciate what you do our guest Marty Miller executive director of Wichita as Britannica. That's all for this edition of issues Tony seventeen will be back next week thank you for listening I'm Steve Macintosh.