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Oklahoma City ‘urban oasis’ wins international award

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The Myriad Botanical Gardens is an 'urban oasis.'

It's 17 acres of tiered landscape, waterfalls and wildlife.

"We are studying birds and came to the Crystal Bridge in hopes of seeing birds," said Jessica Wallace.

In 2011, the Gardens underwent a $10 million makeover, providing recreational and educational opportunities galore.

"It's amazing," said Stayce Chesney. "It's so much bigger than I thought."

It's no wonder Oklahoma City's downtown gem just won a global competition.

"It's peaceful, and it's exciting and unlike anything else in this region," said Jim Tolbert, the Myriad board chair.

Myriad Gardens was chosen as the '2016 Best Urban Open Space' over world-class places like Chicago's Millennium Park.

City officials call it the 'World Series' of park awards.

"We were delighted to be a finalist and never really quite occurred to us that we could win," Tolbert said. "The competition was very stiff."

With seasonal attractions like Pumpkinville, Shakespeare in the Park and Downtown in December, city leaders said we continue to cultivate a world class urban environment in the center of OKC.