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Children's Sensory Garden (Youth Gardening Committee)

The mission of this garden is to invite children of all ages to explore and experience meaningful connections with nature through the five senses.   

This garden is designed to create an engaging outdoor learning environment by offering elements that will spur creative and active play, open-ended discovery, fine and gross motor skills, and language development thru various levels of interaction.  ​In addition, this garden will be a sanctuary providing educational, therapeutic, and safe garden experiences that promote the love of gardening and environmental responsibility that can be enjoyed by all visitors--both young and old alike.

For more photos on the Children's Sensory Garden, check out the GALLERY

The Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City, Michigan, has embarked on an exciting new project in partnership with The Botanic Garden. Our club has taken on the responsibility of creating, developing, and maintaining a children's sensory garden located in the heart of Traverse City on the grounds of The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park.
June 2023
WEBMan in wheelchair
sunflower girl
Boy in wheelchairWeb


*Growing a garden where flowering plants bloom, and people bloom with smiles!

*A garden designed to be touched, inhaled, and experienced using all five senses.

*A garden that exposes youth to a planned outdoor environment promoting future generations to become environmental stewards.

*A garden with sensory spaces and trails that provide science-based (STEM) learning, encouraging curiosity, beauty, and joy.

*A garden safe for children to experience the “Whimsy” of imagination and excitement of awakening creative energies forming lasting memories.

•A garden that provides educational experiences, including speakers, storytellers, and all kinds of entertainment.

*A garden that is very therapeutic for people who suffer from sensory problems and integration disorders, such as autism and dementia. 

 *It can provide a calming place and a gentle way to stimulate the senses.

This environment is specially designed for visitors of all ages and abilities.  Research shows that children's contact with nature is critical for their healthy develop-ment.  For a toddler who is just beginning to explore the surroundings or a person with a sensory impairment, this garden provides a safe developmentally rich play environment.

Opportunities for learning and self-discovery abound with fun water elements, hideaways, hidden creatures, and whimsical features that can be experienced throughout the garden.   

Why Donate?


1) Serve as a rich community resource; a gathering place for all members of the community to share ideas, foster relationships, and collaborate on projects, plus be an attraction for visitors coming to our area.

2) Foster environmental stewardship.  Our garden will offer a project-based learning platform that will increase understanding of ecology, build understanding about the interconnections in nature and lead to advocacy for the local environment as well as serve as a real-life context for diverse subjects, such as math, geography, ethics, economics and language.

3) Support intergenerational learning.  Research shows that experiences between both children and adults offer multi-layered benefits.  The garden will provide conversation starters as wisdom is shared between the generations.

4) Encourage positive social and interpersonal skills.  Children can learn interpersonal skills by interacting cooperatively with other on project-based activities.

5) Provide a welcoming environment for all.

6) Reinforce healthy eating and nutrition.  The Friendly Garden Club will utilize decades of experience to design an environment where children learn how to incorporate healthy practices into their daily lives.

7) Strengthen STEM skills and attitudes toward learning among visitors.  Research has shown that students who utilized a garden-based program have an increased interest in science and show improved science test scores.

8) Celebrate local history a year-round sanctuary of environmental preservation honoring the elements, trees, and plantings of original historical importance.

9) Be an incubator for family connections that are inclusive for all parents and children regardless of age, race, ability, income, or family makeup.

The Children's Sensory Garden will be admission FREE!  All funding to create, maintain, and support this garden will come from grants and donations from individuals and businesses who would like to help in enhancing our community environment.

The Children’s Sensory Garden is being developed by The Friendly Garden Club in partnership with The Botanic Garden.  


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