GardenNews.biz - Jan 15,2012 - Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden Dedication
June 2, 2012
GLENCOE, Ill. — The Chicago Botanic Garden will open the Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden with a dedication ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 2, 2012. Attendees will be encouraged to also attend World Environment Day at the Garden from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dedication will include remarks followed by a ribbon cutting, tours of the garden and two activity stations for children. Staff will demonstrate how the garden will be used for a variety of programs that connect children with nature.
The Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden will provide a dedicated place for active, hands-on planting programs. Children, parents, and teachers will grow food and ornamental plants, learn about native species, and reap the many health and developmental benefits of outdoor, nature-based activities. Camp CBG will be one of the first programs to utilize the garden for activities. Early childhood programs, scout programs, school field trips, teacher professional development programs, and the Science First and College First programs will also utilize the garden.
The 10,000-square-foot garden will be divided into two Outdoor Garden Classrooms where children will grow food and ornamental plants, learn about the native species of our region and enjoy gardening. Within these areas, students will find six ground-level beds, six raised beds, and another raised bed with several wheelchair accessible planting trays. These include plantings of agricultural crops that will change seasonally. A red horsechestnut tree will offer shade in summer, and seven traditional garden benches will provide places for caregivers to sit while children are engaged in activities. The garden will be surrounded by an open-weave fence covered with different varieties of climbing plants, creating a safe, enclosed space for children to roam freely in the garden. The garden incorporates three significant features: solar panels on the roof of the tool shed; a ground-mounted wind turbine, both of which will supply the garden's electrical needs; and rain barrels to collect rainwater, which will be used to water plants in the garden. Any rain that falls ultimately will go into the rain barrels and to underground pipes leading to rainwater harvesting tanks that are part of the garden, a very sophisticated and environmentally-sustainable irrigation system. A striking Living Wall of sedum will greet visitors at the entrance, providing a unique and attractive welcome to children and adults.
The Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden is made possible through the generosity of Esther Grunsfeld Klatz and Ernest A. Grunsfeld III and the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and the Guild of the Chicago Botanic Garden; and the support of Public Museum Capital Grants Program Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois State Museum; Lorraine Ipsen-Stotler, Barbara and Richard Metzler, Make It Better, the Colonel Stanley R. McNeil Foundation, and other donors.
The Learning Campus
The Grunsfeld Children's Growing Garden is part of the Learning Campus, which will eventually include the Kleinman Family Cove, the Lawn, and the Learning Center, which will replace the current H-shaped structure. In fall