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Frankllin Park Conservatory Announces The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children's Garden

Columbus, Ohio— Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has announced the official name of its new Children’s Garden, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden, which is set to open May of 2018!

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden 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 that will be plentiful in the garden.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s support for Franklin Park Conservatory is its biggest legacy project to date and builds upon a long-standing relationship.  For nearly, two decades Scotts Miracle-Gro and Franklin Park Conservatory have teamed up to bring hundreds of gardens and greenspaces to children in cities across the U.S. and Central Ohio.

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 – Wonderfully situated beneath the canopy of a mature Gingko grove, The Playhouse Garden encourages creative dramatic play and provides a welcome respite from higher energy zones in the Children’s Garden. 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 and a secret path to the Nature Play Zone. A signature earth art installation doubles as a spot for creative play as well as a “stage” for planned performances.
  • Canopy Walk – Two outstanding tree-top roosts await: Mulberry Perch, at ten feet above the ground, and Hammock Lounge, at thirteen feet above the ground. These twin destinations are the highest points along the Children’s Garden journey, offering 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. In addition, Northern Catalpas, Tulip Poplars and Large-leaf Magnolias welcome all to a special viewing of their lofty blossoms and fruits. The Hammock Lounge features a bird’s eye view of some of the most striking yet delicate spring wildflowers Ohio has to offer.
  • Sandstone Bluff – 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 – This area 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. Tracks of woodland animals abound, and if children look closely enough, they will also find friendly mystical creatures tucked behind boulders, sitting on fallen logs or hiding beneath native Ohio shrubs.
  • Wetland Explore – Anchoring the western end of the Children’s Garden, this area is one of the largest destinations. It wears many hats as a functioning and interactive wetland, dramatic planted spiral display, and home to insects, birds and amphibians. Wetland Explore celebrates the rain. 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. Even in dry periods, 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.”

For updates on the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden at Franklin Park Conservatory please visit FPConservatory.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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About Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens offers botanical collections, art and nature-based exhibitions, plant shows, and educational programs for all ages. Situated in an 88-acre urban park, the Conservatory features the historic 1895 John F. Wolfe Palm House and 83,000 square feet of glasshouses, classrooms, and meeting and event spaces. The Conservatory owns a signature collection of glass artwork by Dale Chihuly. Light Raiment II, a permanent installation by internationally recognized light artist James Turrell, illuminates the John F. Wolfe Palm House every evening from dusk until dawn.  

About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit www.scottsmiraclegrofoundation.org.