With the permission of the City of Cabool, we broke ground. 

Eagle Scouts Blake Williams and Teddy Murphy built the garden boxes and placed irrigation lines. There were over 60 volunteers present for this phase of the project. Mr. Doug Haynie of Cabool volunteered his services as a professional plumber. Mr. Jayson Lee of Hartville provided professional supervision for the box construction. Mr. Gillet volunteered to dig all the trenches for the piping.

A $2,000 grant was obtained from Walmart, assisting with the cost of materials.

​Unfortunately a week later heavy rains washed the beds into the river. Students were able to pull them out and without damage. The beds were moved to higher ground.

The project's Master Gardener became ill and was unable to continue the planning of the garden. We carefully watched the area's flood patterns and considered the placement of all garden elements. 

Projected work:

  • January - Complete Children's Garden design
  • February - Construction of Children's Garden.
  • April - Weed control in seeded gardens.
  • June - Five benches installed along the path. Waterfall and pond construction.
  • August - Wheelchair accessible planter boxes and ergonomic tools completed adjacent to color garden. 


The STARS Foundation assisted a botanical garden project in West Plains. The Master Gardeners Mr. and Mrs. Dias designed the plans in exchange for our assistance, and have offered any plants, trees, etc. that we might need for the garden free of charge. However, they are unable to assist further due to travel distance and health concerns. 

Mrs. Barbara Thomas came to The STARS Foundation with her children to participate in our theater and dance programs. In time, we discovered that she was an incredible gardener! She offered to assist, along with Master Gardener Danny Manness.

Garden Layout and Sign Design



Garden History and Timeline


The Mission of the garden is to provide an artistic view of the earth and of nature.

The STARS Foundation works with several students and adults with illness and special needs. This garden is designed to heal and soothe people of all ages who might be in need of its services. Not only will the garden be pleasing to the eye, it will be a feast for the other senses as well. The blind will hear special tones that will be placed throughout the garden using chimes and musical garden pieces. Therapeutic waterfalls and acupressure paths will soothe mind and body. Each part of the garden will have its own distinct scent and there will be ample amounts of shade for hot summer days. Children will delight in interactive elements placed throughout the garden. The garden will be fully handicapped accessible, with paths for wheelchairs and even raised garden boxes high enough for working in the soil. 

There will be classes and workshops held throughout the year on various topics. For more information and to follow the garden's progress, check back often or visit us on social media. 

How you can help:

We are in need of donations to complete the garden's paved areas, memorial benches, and more. Help us raise awareness by telling everyone about this special project. Monetary donations are greatly appreciated and will help us accomplish great things.

Our successes thus far include:

  • 1,500 bricks were donated by Acme Brick of Springfield for vegetable planters, an $800 value.
  • Asphalt laid by contractor, with $3,200 in materials donated by Coastal Energy of Willow Springs. We still need 15 tons of chat for base layer.
  • We received a $1,500 Walmart grant.
  • $1,o00 in seeds were donated by a grant from Baker Seed in Mansfield.
  • Wood artist Eugene Missel of Houston has volunteered to do the special wood features, signage, garden decor, and the gazebo.
  • Mrs. Thomas has met with the MO Department of Conservation to get proper guidance on seeding the prairie area, and Amy Hamilton offered a discount.
  • Willow Green Gardens and Tree Farm of Rogersville donated trees, shrubs, and fruit trees that have been continuing to grow in their nursery.
  • We have been promised hundreds of donated perennials, Iris, Daffodils, Peonies, and more.

Contact Garden Supervisors for more information: 

Barbara Thomas, Houston, 417-260-1942
Danny Manness, Cabool, 417-962-3533

Rebecca Peterson, Cabool, 417-254-3168

Garden Property

Garden Inspiration

Botanical Garden

The following has been accomplished in 2016:

  • January - timeline planning and finalize designs
  • February - began work on the land despite heavy snows. Volunteer excavator Bryan Childers saved us $800 when he leveled the land correctly and provided dirt.
  • March - during a garden workday, Mr. Manness brought two trailer loads of cardboard that was used to lay 4,500 sq. ft. of mulch, framing the edges of the garden. The over $200 in mulch was donated by Mr. Evans. Mr. Dave Bennet, Whetstine Excavating employee, drove the donated truck to bring mulch to the site. Over 60 volunteers spent 4-5 hours laying cardboard and mulch.
  • The grass needed to grow and then would be sprayed to kill it. During this time the grass was inadvertently mowed, delaying the spraying for another month.
  • April/May - The boundaries of the garden were marked and then the Thomas family sprayed the property for the first kill of weeds. This is necessary to properly prepare the land for the special plantings and asphalt pathways. With warmer weather came the proper heat to finish the job of killing the grass.
  • May - The Peterson family mowed and trimmed the dead grass. The outlines of pathways were marked and the garden sign built.
  • June - Second round of weed killer was applied by the Thomas family. Storage shed was constructed.
  • August - Third round of weed killer was applied. Color garden plan completed.
  • During these past months, STARS collected stones, rocks, soil, asphalt, and volunteer professionals. Grants were written for financing additional materials.

Projected work:

  • September - Begin acupressure paths by setting forms. This will be a weekly work project for those needing volunteer hours. Build planter bed forms and pour permanent planters. Build gazebo footings.
  • October - Fill boxes with planting mix and plant perennial vegetables. Build box arches and pathway arbor. Prepare the ground for the color garden.
  • November - Build greenhouse attached to garden shed. Begin color garden planting.
  • December - Gazebo construction

Projected work:

  • January - Order and plant trees. Stratify butterfly garden. Plant butterfly garden seeds.
  • February - Continue planting of butterfly garden. 
  • May - Install base layer and asphalt pathways.
  • June - Edging
  • October - seeding of meadow and butterfly garden.