Hershey’s Children Garden, Cleveland Botanical Garden
The Hershey Children’s Garden opened in June of 1999 and within the first year, more than doubled the Botanical Garden’s visitation. The garden is designed to be an interactive, playful garden where children can learn about the value of plants, gardening and the interconnections of nature. Designers worked with staff and a design committee during workshops to develop the statement of purpose, list of objectives, list of program items and the overall layout. The 30,000 s.f. garden is organized into three main sections – Entry Area, Ecological Area and Horticultural Area. The kid-scaled entry is flanked by rabbit statuary, establishing the garden as a province for children. A highlight of the Ecological Area is the open, rustic tree house with ample decking built around two existing tulip trees. Other natural landscape elements in this section include pond, wetlands, stream, peat bog, coppice, hill, forest, bird blind, stone cliff and cave. The Horticultural Area features growing areas, tool house, hand water pumps, playhouse with sod roof, international plants garden, worm and compost bins, and a scrounger garden displaying plants in a variety of found objects, including old shoes and musical instruments.