A gem in the heart of downtown Delray Beach, the Delray Beach Children’s Garden was built with the help of local civic leaders, landscape designers, horticulturists, and most importantly by kids and community neighbors that will learn from and support it for years to come. The long-anticipated Grand Opening is Sunday, January 3.
The vision for the Delray Beach Children’s Garden was born about 12 years ago according to Director, Shelley Zacks. “I read a wonderful book entitled `Last Child In The Woods—Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder` by Richard Louv and it really left an impression on me. The book talks about the lack of nature in the lives of the wired generation and its link to some disturbing childhood trends such as the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Our park will connect area children to our precious Earth in fun and meaningful ways”.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has generously leased the half-acre property (for $10 a year) to the Children’s Garden, which is a DBA of the non-profit Auroras Voice. A groundbreaking event was held several months ago and clearly much work has been done to make the Garden a realty. The best part is, the Garden was designed and built by children, according to Zacks.
“We aspire to create a future generation of earth stewards, but there are several trends that limit the exposure our children have to nature. Sometimes, children have a fear of nature because they aren’t exposed to it. They may live in an area with little greenspace. Unfortunately, technology can keep children tied to a computer instead of going outdoors. Finally, some parents are reluctant to give their kids the freedom to just go outdoors and play. The Children’s Garden will give children hands-on experiences and everyone is welcome”.
A banana forest, Seminole Indian chickee hut educational pavilion, reading tree fountain, medicine room, compost center, sunflower house, and a mulch mountain are just a few of the features that will help children embrace the natural world around them and motivate them to take care of it as they grow.
The Children’s Garden will be open every Saturday from 9am-noon. Morning and afternoon weekday programs will begin in February. The GRAND OPENING Celebration will be held on Sunday, January 3 from 11am-2pm and is free to the community (donations welcome and appreciated). Address is 137 SW 2nd Ave with parking on site. You can park off of SW 1st Avenue.