The Arboretum’s Children’s Funshine Garden is a wonderful educational tool—a place where children can discover habitat any time of the year. Just a few weeks ago, while exploring with a school group, we found seeds in the dried sunflower heads and discussed how this provides food for birds. Exploration of the Bean Teepee revealed an empty bird’s nest. A birdhouse shows how many birds, especially bluebirds, have adapted to living with humans by building their nest in a birdhouse instead of a tree cavity. In the Pollinator Garden we discovered honeybees, bumblebees, and a praying mantis! In the Sensory Herb Garden we found a giant spider web with a large garden spider in it.
Kid-sized and kid-friendly tools are available to dig in the soil—to our surprise, pumpkin seeds and wiggly worms were found. A favorite activity in the Funshine Garden is when each child is handed their own watering can full of water and they walk around the garden spreading a welcome drink to each plant. It is so amazing to see their faces light up with delight over this very simple act. Whether you visit the Arboretum with a school group or on your own, visit the Funshine Garden in any season and make a discovery of your own. Just look for the rainbow-colored fence and open the gate. Everyone is always welcome!
by Robyn Affron
Visitor Services Coordinator
Certified Professional Horticulturist
NAI Certified Guide