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2005 - Nonprofit Organization Award - Beautification & Landscaping - Hardy Murphy Coliseum, Ardm

Accepting for The Hardy Murphy Coliseum: Tim Lynch

Nonprofit Organization Award (annual budget more than $100,000) for Beautification & Landscaping - Hardy Murphy Coliseum, Ardmore

Despite a facility-saving and massive restoration of Ardmore’s Hardy Murphy Coliseum 20 years ago, the lack of landscaping on the front of the historic structure was not too attractive. A year ago, the coliseum’s manager, Tim Lynch, contacted the Ardmore Beautification Council to help develop a look that would showcase the front of the building and provide a warm welcome. 

Named after a famed rodeo showman and native son, the grounds of Hardy Murphy Coliseum also served as the final resting place for the showman’s two horses, so this was included in the planning. The unique landscaping design featured xeriscape planting, boulders and a flagstone path to the gravesite of the horses. 

The use of volunteer labor and donated funds (solicited by the Beautification Council from the general public) reduced the total cost of the project for the coliseum to just $5,200. The result is a strikingly handsome first impression for the 100,000-plus visitors each year for horse events and other special activities held inside. 

Our judges noted the excellent use of native plants, the variety of community partners and the high visual impact of the project. The creative landscaping at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum is laying the groundwork for good news for Oklahoma’s public buildings.