Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 32

GEORGIA Gardens
By Pamela A. Keene
Turning little sprouts
into young gardeners
M
ost children need no excuse to
get their hands dirty, and what
could be more fun than playing
in the dirt while also growing food to eat?
Georgia has several children's gardens that
offer hands-on learning with Mother Earth.
Below are a few to check out around the state.
Gardens on Green, Gainesville
(770) 983-1446; bit.ly/gardgreen
" Children need play to develop their
curiosity, " says Kathy Lovett, founder of
Gardens on Green. " Our programming helps
youngsters learn about nature, how plants
grow and how to work together. It's so rewarding
to see how excited they are when
they come to the gardens to plant seeds
or harvest what they've grown. And
best of all, they're having fun. "
Gardens on Green opened in
2007 as a partnership between the
Hall County Board of Education and
Hall County Master Gardeners. It has
since become a focal point for children's
learning about nature, nutrition
and literacy. Scout troops and groups from
elementary schools and churches visit the gardens,
where they discover how to grow vegetables
Above: Children show off the fruits of the
harvest at Gardens on Green in Gainesville.
At left: A youngster gets acquainted with an
earthworm at the Children's Learning Garden
at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
N
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C
and learn about the importance of healthy eating.
" Introducing children to gardening at an early age is one of the best
ways to set a good foundation for an appreciation of nature and a lifelong
love of gardening, " Lovett says.
Children's Learning Garden, Statesboro
(912) 478-1149; bit.ly/gsukidsgarden
The Children's Learning Garden at Georgia Southern University (GSU)
was created from a nearly 100-year-old farmstead bequeathed to the
university by Dan and Catherine Bland.
" Dan and Catherine Bland were known throughout the southern
coastal plains as naturalists and [were] passionate about plants, " says
Carolyn Altman, director of the Botanic Garden at GSU. " He left the
farmstead to the Georgia Southern [University] Foundation when he died,
with the stipulation that it would become a botanic garden to carry on his
family's work. "
The Children's Learning Garden was founded as part of the Botanic
32 Georgia Magazine May 2022
Garden in 1993, offering free programs for youngsters
in the community. Small-group sessions taught
kids about gardening through hands-on activities
and games.
As the garden gained popularity, programming
grew to include on-site, 10-week spring and fall
curricula teaching kindergartners through fifth
graders how to grow vegetables.
" We're planting fun vegetables, such as purple
carrots, orange okra and 3-foot-long beans, " Altman
says. " The students do the planting, watering, weeding
and harvesting so that they can see the growing
process at various stages. "
School field trips to the garden and visits by staff
members to area schools have taught thousands of
youngsters about endangered plants, native species
and the role of farming in Georgia.
" We are so fortunate to have this wonderful
garden to share with the community, " Altman says.
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http://www.bit.ly/gardgreen http://www.bit.ly/gsukidsgarden

Georgia Magazine - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - May 2022

Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 4
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 5
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 6
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 7
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 8
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Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - 38
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - May 2022 - Cover4
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