Fund-raising has started for a Children’s Garden to be created at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
The garden will be geared towards 4- to 14-year-olds and will cover almost an acre between the Visitor Centre and the Heritage Garden.
“It was always been a part of the master plan of the Botanic Park and now we are starting to move on the project, by first clearing the land which is largely wooded with logwood, an invasive species here on the Cayman Islands,” says John Lawrus, general manager of the Botanic Park.
Inmates from Northward prison have been helping with the task of clearing the ground while architect John Doak has been working on the conceptual plans.
“I would really like to see this project come to reality in the next couple of years, as a gift to the children of the Cayman Islands,” says John Lawrus.
“Hopefully, the garden may create some of the future stewards of our environment.”
The Botanic Park plans to involve all the schools in Cayman in the project, asking the children what they would like to have in their garden.
“Ideally, we would like the children to take ownership of the garden for them to keep coming back and visiting,” adds John.
So far, key features of the garden include an open-air classroom, which teachers can utilize for lessons and demonstrations, as well as a climbing structure or tree-house type of building, a water feature, a planting section and possibly a maze.
“We hope that we can provide a place for the community where children can come and be stimulated by the nature that surrounds them and, as a result, appreciate the importance of nature,” John explains. “We also hope to design the garden in such a way that it is scaled to children, making it their own space.”
The Children’s Garden is the latest in a series of gardens being added to the Botanic Park, and follows on from the Xerophytic Garden, which opened in 2013 and the Orchid Garden which opened in 2010.
Final costings for the Children’s Garden are still to be drawn up but are expected to be in excess of $250,000.
Any individual or company interested in sponsoring the Children’s Garden can contact John Lawrus at [email protected] or by calling the Botanic Park on 947-9462.