4-H Children’s Garden programs go virtual
Take a virtual tour of the outdoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden with Dr. Norm.
Coronavirus has changed almost everything we do in everyday life and this includes what we normally do at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.
While the outdoor 4-H Children’s Garden has been open to visitors this summer and fall, all programs and field trips were canceled to keep staff and visitors safe. This included the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit and field trips, all spring and fall school field trips, all summer and fall family programs, the little train did not run this summer and the bathrooms were closed.
Some things are still the same: The 4-H Children’s Garden is open to the public. Visitors must observe proper social distancing guidelines when they visit the garden.
Some things are new: Dr. Norm and Miss Jessica developed online versions of 4-H Children’s Garden programs and activities. This included an online Butterfly School and a virtual tour of the 4-H Children’s Gardens (see list of online resources below). They are not the same as the face-to-face programs, but they are a way to provide the plant science, wonder and imagination that typically grows in the garden.
4-H Children’s Garden Online Resources
- MSU Today 4-H Children’s Gardens podcast – Dr. Norm interviewed by Bill Beekman
- Virtual Garden Tours
- Online Butterflies in the Garden School
- Online Seeds of Science
- Online Garden Discovery Activities
- Virtual Children’s Garden Scavenger Hunt
- Online Stories for Sprouts and Seedlings
- Online Story Walk – Little Boo
Due to social distancing and restrictions, Dr. Norm and Miss Jessica, along with only one part-time student, had to plant and maintain the gardens this year on their own. A few adjustments had to be made in terms of plants in the gardens due to availability, but garden staff members were still able to create a beautiful, welcoming space for visitors. While the gardens were not able to offer in-person programs, there were still many visitors in the gardens each day. Some shared their gratitude for providing a space to get outside and enjoy plants in a “safe” environment.