The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden, set to open in May 2018, will focus on art and educational experiences that foster the connection between children and nature. The Conservatory hopes to increase children’s green time while reducing screen time through opportunities for unstructured, outdoor play will be plentiful in the garden.
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden will be comprised of 16 unique experiences that highlight Ohio’s landscape and geology. Experiences include:
The Playhouse Garden encourages creative play and provides a welcome respite from higher energy zones. The Playhouse Garden offers a whimsical playhouse, puppet stage and plenty of opportunities for dress up and role playing as well as flexible lawn areas and moveable furniture, a backyard-scaled dig area.
Two outstanding tree-top roosts await on the Canopy Walk: Mulberry Perch and Hammock Lounge, the highest points along the Children’s Garden journey, offer a commanding view of the entire garden and the elusive Spotted Salamander. Accessible to visitors of all physical mobility, the Canopy Walk introduces children and their caregivers to the largest tree in the garden, a White Mulberry. The Hammock Lounge features a bird’s eye view of some of the most striking yet delicate spring wildflowers Ohio has to offer.
Visitors pass alongside the 15-foot tall Sandstone Bluff, inspired by the Hocking Hills sandstone geology, to discover a friendly Wayside Gnome, who welcomes all to My Ohio Woods.
My Ohio Woods captures the essence of the dramatic landforms, towering trees and rugged streams of the Hocking Hills region, providing a place for families to explore their dynamic Ohio landscape again and again.
Wetland Explore wears many hats as a functioning and interactive wetland, dramatic planted spiral display, and home to insects, birds and amphibians. Its bottom may lay dry for days, but after a summer rain storm, children excitedly run out to the floating path to watch the water gently rise. A 15-foot tall giant pitcher plant sculptures beckon visitors to explore the Bog Garden and to look for dragonflies and baby frogs in Pollywog Pool.
In addition to these exciting areas, the Children’s Garden will also include a Nature Art Studio, a multi-purpose Learning Pavilion and garden plots where children can learn how to grow vegetables and flowers.
“We know the best way to spark a connection to nature that can last a lifetime, is to teach a child to garden.” Said Jim King, President, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “The simple act of planting a seed in the dirt and watching it sprout into something beautiful will be at the heart of the new Children’s Garden.”
“None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our private and public donors,” said Bruce Harkey, President and CEO of Franklin Park Conservatory. “The addition of the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden will transform the visitor experience at the Conservatory by presenting new interactive experiences for families and children punctuated with world-class display horticulture.”
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