COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been around for more than a century. The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden has been around for a month.
“It’s been exactly what we hoped it would be. It’s the game-changer for the conservatory. It’s the game-changer for the conservatory,” said Bruce Harkey, President and CEO and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. “When you’re a kid, and you’re a parent helping your kid find your way, I think this garden is the perfect place. There’s of course nature, horticulture and gardening, but there’s also amazing architecture and lots of other experiences.”
The 2-acre garden was designed with engaging kids in mind. There are plenty of places to play, climb, and splash. But also places to learn about the natural beauty around us.
“It also allows them to interact with the plants. Water them, play with the sounds, see the signs that the dill is the host plant for the butterflies,” said camp counselor Jacob Kalinko. “So then it gives a little more education on our nature, our world and how we’re all connected to that.”
And in this age of technology, getting kids out in nature could never be more important than right now.
“And it’s a great hands-on in nature learning activity and you get to be outside and give them experiences they can’t get at home,” said Jessica Karr, who visited for the second time.
“There is a real issue called Nature Deficit Disorder where kids are disconnected from nature and we all know there are environmental challenges and if kids don’t feel comfortable in nature, they won’t protect nature,” said Harkey.