What is the Model School/Childrens Garden?

Kathryn Fontenot  |  12/4/2012 9:02:54 AM

Children's garden


ribbon cutting ceremony

A new garden is growing at Burden Center. The Model School/Children’s Garden was designed for people of all ages to enjoy but especially designed for children. The garden encompasses about 1/3 acre. As you meander through the pathways you’ll come in contact with both butterfly and edible plants. As the season changes, so will the plants; the garden is ever-changing, so there’s always something new to see.

Visiting children are encouraged to touch, feel, smell and enjoy the garden space. You’ll probably want to bring a camera so you can take your picture on a 15-foot alligator or capture a butterfly chrysalis ever so slightly wiggling! Children should also bring an open mind and belly. We have many different types of fruit and vegetables planted in the garden. Depending on the season, various edible plants will be ready for harvest. Children are encouraged to snap off a tomato, pick a piece of broccoli, pull a carrot or radish and take a bite. We really want to encourage a wider palate in our youth! BUT we also want everyone who visits to be able to sample fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables, so only pick only a bite or two to eat in the garden!

There are two sections in the garden. As you enter you will walk through the butterfly garden. Take your time and really observe the plants. Look under leaves for tiny butterfly eggs, hungry caterpillars and wiggling chrysalis! Be careful as you walk through so you don’t run into a flittering butterfly. Take a look at the plant labels in the butterfly garden. Some have caterpillars on them. These are host plants, or those that butterflies lay their eggs on and caterpillars prefer to eat. The plants with adult pictures of butterflies on them are nectar plants, or those that adult butterflies feed from.

When you get to the back of the garden, be on the lookout for things to eat. We have both perennial fruit crops like blackberries, figs, apples, grapes and citrus trees as well as annual crops like broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and cucumbers plus many, many more. Understand that you won’t always find every type of vegetable in the garden because some vegetables grow better when the temperatures are cooler, and others prefer warmer temperatures.

The garden is open to the general public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Currently there is no fee to visit. If you would like to take a field trip to the garden, please register with us ahead of time. You’ll find information under the backpacks link.

We hope to see you soon!

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