Helping youth imagine and explore through the gardens
Youth will learn and know science through the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.
Campaign Priority: Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens
Campaign Goal: $1 million
The outdoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden opened in 1993 on the campus of Michigan State University and has become the premier model in the United States for innovative use of gardens to teach children about science, nature and literature. The garden has also become a national leader in the use of technology to facilitate distance learning by children. The indoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden opened in 2003 and provides year-round plant science learning opportunities. In 2008, the Pete and Sally Smith Schoolyard Demonstration Garden was created as an addition to the outdoor garden to provide ideas and learning concepts to assist educators in developing outdoor gardens in schoolyards, community gardens or other small spaces. It also serves as a demonstration space for environmentally friendly landscape materials.
In the 2016-2017 program year, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens:
- Hosted nearly 6,000 visitors for the six-week Butterflies in the Garden Display.
- Engaged 2,400 students in Seeds of Science field trips almost every day from May 1 to June 14.
- Had all-time high attendance at its family summer programs, including 180 children at Digger Day.
Giving back and helping others is one of the life skills taught and learned through Michigan 4-H programs. Every year Andrew Herman, of Ingham County, saves money to give to a cause he is interested in. In early 2017, Andrew visited the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden as part of a school field trip, where students learned about pollinators, toured the garden, planted a seedling to take home and generally had a great experience.
He was so impressed that he decided he wanted to give all the money he had saved up to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens “to help plants and pollinators in the MSU 4-H Gardens.” His mom brought him back to the gardens early one morning (before school) and he made his $10 donation.