about us

The garden’s history began in the late 1980’s with the purchase of the property by Bert and Susan Hendley. They lovingly restored the mission style home which sits at the top of the property and then began the development of the gardens in an abandoned ravine located below the home. It has a unique micro-climate that makes it suitable for the survival of both native and non-native plants to this part of Ohio.

Formerly, Mission Oaks Gardens were visited by invitation or appointment only, but are now open to the public daily. Staff and Mission Oaks volunteer members help maintain and host these unique gardens where visitors are invited to ask questions as they meander through. Larger groups are encouraged to schedule guided tours to obtain a deeper insight into one of Zanesville’s best kept secrets.

According to TripAdvisor.com Mission Oaks Gardens is recognized as the #4 of 24 "Thing to do in Zanesville."


meet our team

Russel Edgington

Executive Director

Michelle Illing

Administrative Assistant+

Mike McCoy

Maintenance Technician

Haley Johnson

2022-23 AORC AmeriCorps Service Member

Skylar Ulry

2022-23 AORC AmeriCorps Service Member

Darlene Turner, Gayle Steil, Gail Smith, Jack Long, Barb Long, and Lori McCollister

Most Active MVPD Volunteers

What our visitors say

"If you're looking for something fun and FREE for the kids today Mission Oaks Gardens is the place to be! They have a leaf press, you can make a buckeye necklace, coloring books, and TONS more! You can feed the fish, and learn about everything outdoors!!! Go check it out, Raelea had a blast!!"

Brianna W

"Thank you for providing such an enchanting get-away right here in the city! Thank you SO much!!!!!"

Kay D

"You have a very lovely garden...I was a 'first time visitor' yesterday! I took some gorgeous photographs, and got a surprise visit from a little fawn (so excited). I'm not sure how, but I missed the pond with the benches (on your cover photo)! I will definately be back!! Thank you!!"

Lori D

"Just came back from a walk here with my kids. It is absolutely amazing!! Who knew we had such a treasure just a few blocks from our house!?"

Angie M

"I have been to the Garden several times. I had no idea there was another side to it. I love going there. It's so beautiful and relaxing. The dog is always in the same spot, but today he actually walked around with us. I look forward to visiting with him, especially now that he is alone. Thanks for providing us with such beauty to enjoy."

Becky B

"Visited Mission Oaks Garden yesterday and IT WAS DELIGHTFUL!!! Wow! This is a secret in Zanesville and what a treasure! We must come back often to enjoy the changing seasons!"

Kim D