Mercer’s excited to dedicate an area to some of its smallest patrons.
Mercer’s new Children’s Garden, opening Saturday, June 9 at 9 a.m., will be the first garden at Mercer featuring touchable plants and herbs. Since Mercer is home to many rare and endangered plants, staff have historically discouraged visitors from touching the plants.
“We wanted to make Mercer more child friendly,” said Mercer Interim Director Jim Nutter. “We know that fostering an appreciation for nature comes from direct interaction with the environment.
It’s important to us that this is a safe space where kids can explore and learn to love nature.”
Children will be able to touch, smell, and even taste (with appropriate supervision) a variety of flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the new garden.
This long-awaited addition will not only be a fun, colorful place for children to explore, but it will also play an essential role in Mercer’s educational programming. In addition to Mercer’s annual Summer Kids Program, Mercer will offer a Junior Master Gardener Program for elementary and middle school students to learn about gardening and plants. Storytime in the Gardens will also take place here Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in which Mercer staff and volunteers share some of their favorite nature books with children and their parents.
“Children will be able to learn about plants while getting their hands dirty,” said Education Director Jennifer Garrison. “Children thrive in a natural environment, and we want to make sure they feel welcome at Mercer.”