‘Butterflies’ kick-off 2017 4-H Children’s Gardens season

Butterflies in the Garden
Butterflies in the Garden

The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens will kick-off its 2017 season once again with the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit, presented with support from MSU Federal Credit Union.

The butterflies will be on display from March 15 to April 30, 2017 in the Indoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at Michigan State University. The Butterflies in the Garden exhibit is open to the public from 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Butterflies will have extended hours and special activities during spring break, April 3-7, 2017 from 1-4 p.m. It will be closed Easter Sunday, April 16.

In addition to the butterfly exhibit, the garden hosts a variety of programs for youth and families around various themes.

General admission to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and Butterflies in the Garden exhibit are free, but donations are appreciated. Some events have a $5 fee. There is a parking fee on weekdays. Visit 4hgarden.msu.edu for more information and to pre-register for events.

Download the full calendar with event descriptions and details.

 

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens Spring & Summer Calendar 2017

Download the full calendar with event descriptions and details.

Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens Spring & Summer 2017 Calendar
  • Butterfly Day – Apr. 15, 10 a.m.-noon
    Join us in celebrating another exciting season of “Butterflies in the Garden.” Come and explore the secret life of butterflies in the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden. We will discover the amazing butterfly life cycle, create butterfly gardens to take home, and much more. Cost per child: $5, parking free.
  • Plant Sale – May 20 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Our plant sale features divisions from the DeLapa Perennial Garden as well as annuals, vegetables, succulents, houseplants, trees and shrubs. Cost per child: $5, parking free.
  • Garden Geocache Event – June 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Cache veterans and new enthusiasts are welcome at this geocaching adventure. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a day of caching in the garden. We will be finding new caches, trading travel bugs, exploring the gardens and much more. If you have a GPS unit please bring it to this event. If you do not have one, we will provide one. Cost per child: Free , parking free.
  • Storybook Tea Party – June 20, 10 a.m.- noon
    Join us and our garden storybook friends for a spot of tea and garden fun. Come dressed as your favorite storybook character and enjoy tea, activities and of course stories! SPECIAL ADDITION: Some of our readers will be the teens that are part of Stories in the Garden! Registration required. Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Digger Day – June 29, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come to the garden and explore the world of diggers. Front-end loaders, dump trucks and backs hoes, all of these tools help with projects both big and small in our communities. MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will bring some of MSU’s biggest and best equipment to the garden for us to explore. We will also have activities and crafts so come ready to dig and get dirty at this new event! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Garden Writers Workshop – July 11-13, 10 a.m.-noon
    Young writers will learn about the wonderful world of writing in the garden. Using the garden as their inspiration, campers will connect writing to nature, creating poems, stories, plays and much more. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants). Cost per child: $30 for all three days, parking not included.* 
  • Stories in the Garden – July 12 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking not included.*
  • Train Day – July 20, 10 a.m.-noon
    All aboard! Join us in celebrating our love for locomotives with the Lansing Model Railroad Club and the Capital Area Railway Society. Watch trains of all shapes and sizes, help us construct a train village in the garden, discover what happens on the tracks and much more! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.* 
  • Water Day – July 25, 9 a.m.-noon
    Come cool off from the summer heat and have fun in the garden with water. We will play water games, do water art and explore all things fun about water. Come ready to get wet! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Bug Day – July 27, 10 a.m.-noon
    We cannot get enough of these amazing six-legged friends! Join us for what has become an annual tribute to insects in the garden. We will be collecting bugs, observing bugs, making bugs and even writing poetry about bugs! Our friends from the MSU Bug House will be back this year with their amazing collections of insects from all over the world! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Camp Monet – Aug. 8-10, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Young artists will love spending three days in the garden creating marvelous projects. Campers will use inspiration from the garden to make projects that involve sketching, painting, sculpting, dying, weaving and much more! Lunch will not be provided, so please bring a lunch each day. We will eat together in the garden. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants.) Registration required. Cost per child: $70 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Garden Chefs from Garden to Table – Aug. 15 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Join us in the garden and learn all about interesting edibles and how to make delicious, easy creations. Each session will focus on a different theme and we will prepare a delicious and nutritious lunch using items from the garden. Ages 7 and up. This is a drop off program. Cost per child: $25 per person, parking not included.*
  • Bubble Day – Aug. 17, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come celebrate the end of summer vacation at the garden with bubbles! As we explore the wonderful world of bubbles we will paint, eat, and even make music with bubbles. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to come to this bubblelicious bash! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Dinosaur Day – Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come and explore the exciting world of dinosaurs in the garden. We will uncover dinosaur mysteries; discover what plants they ate, and learn what the earth was like when dinosaurs roamed here. Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – Aug. 23 from 7-8:30 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking free.
  • Holiday Open House – Dec. 7, 5-7 p.m.
    Enjoy our displays of poinsettias and 16′ poinsettia tree under evening lights. Bring your camera and the kids. Santa will arrive in his sleigh at 5:30 pm. MSU Poinsettias, centerpieces, and wreaths will be for sale. Enjoy some holiday refreshments. Cost per child: free, parking free.

Stories for Sprouts & Seedlings
This program is designed especially for young children, ages 2-4, to experience the wonders of gardening through stories and hands-on projects. Each month a different book is featured with an accompanying gardening activity. This program occurs the third Wednesday of the month from 10-11 a.m.

  • May 17 from 10-11 a.m. – Syliva’s Spinach by Katherine Pryor.
  • June 21 from 10-11 a.m. – In Mary’s Garden by Tina Kugler.
  • July 19 from 10-11 a.m. – Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward.
  • Aug. 16 from 10-11 a.m. – The Dinosaur Farm by Frann Preston-Gannon.
  • Sept. 20 from 10-11 a.m. – Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer.
  • Oct. 18 from 10-11 a.m. – From Apple Tree to Cider Please by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky.

*The MSU Horticulture Garden parking meters are a cash/credit system. Parking can be paid at the meter and the machines accept both credit and U.S. coins. The charge for parking is $0.25 for 8 minutes. There is a $1.80 minimum for credit card charges. All major credit cards accepted.

Butterflies in the Garden

The spring and summer 2018 4-H Children’s Gardens family program calendar is now available!

The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens will kick-off its 2018 season once again with the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit. The butterflies will be on display from March 15 to April 30, 2018 in the Indoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at Michigan State University. The Butterflies in the Garden exhibit is open to the public from 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Butterflies will have extended hours and special activities during spring break, April 2-7, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. It will be closed Easter Sunday, April 1.

In addition to the butterfly exhibit, the garden hosts a variety of programs for youth and families around various themes.

General admission to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and Butterflies in the Garden exhibit are free, but donations are appreciated. Some events have a $5 fee. There is a parking fee on weekdays. Visit 4hgarden.msu.edu for more information and to pre-register for events.

Download the full calendar with event descriptions and details.

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens Family Programs Calendar Spring & Summer 2018

MICHIGAN 4-H CHILDREN’S GARDENS SPRING & SUMMER 2018 CALENDAR

  • Butterfly Day – Apr. 28, 10 a.m.-noon
    Join us in celebrating another exciting season of “Butterflies in the Garden.” Come and explore the secret life of butterflies in the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden. We will discover the amazing butterfly life cycle, create butterfly gardens to take home, and much more. Cost per child: $5, parking free.
  • Plant Sale – May 19 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Our plant sale features hanging baskets, perennials, annuals, grasses, herbs, vegetable seedlings, shrubs and more.
  • Garden Geocache Event – June 9, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Cache veterans and new enthusiasts are welcome at this geocaching adventure. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a day of caching in the garden. We will be finding new caches, trading travel bugs, exploring the gardens and much more. If you have a GPS unit please bring it to this event. If you do not have one, we will provide one. Cost per child: Free , parking free.
  • Superhero Tea Party – June 19, 10 a.m.- noon
    Come dressed as your favorite superhero and celebrate with a tea party in the garden. Participants will have a chance to share tea and treats with friends and then journey into the garden for a variety of fun make-and-take activities. Registration required. Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – June 19 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking not included.*
  • Digger Day – June 28, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come to the garden and explore the world of diggers. Front-end loaders, dump trucks and backs hoes, all of these tools help with projects both big and small in our communities. MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will bring some of MSU’s biggest and best equipment to the garden for us to explore. We will also have activities and crafts so come ready to dig and get dirty at this new event! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Garden 25th Birthday Bash – July 14, 10 a.m.-noon
    We will celebrate the gardens silver birthday with activities throughout all the gardens, including container gardens, tours, and of course cake and ice cream. Cost per child: free.
  • Garden Writers Workshop – July 10-12, 10 a.m.-noon
    Young writers will learn about the wonderful world of writing in the garden. Using the garden as their inspiration, campers will connect writing to nature, creating poems, stories, plays and much more. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants). Cost per child: $30 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – July 11, 7-8:30 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free.
  • Train Day – July 19, 10 a.m.-noon
    All aboard! Join us in celebrating our love for locomotives with the Lansing Model Railroad Club and the Capital Area Railway Society. Watch trains of all shapes and sizes, help us construct a train village in the garden, discover what happens on the tracks and much more! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Water Day – July 26, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come cool off from the summer heat and have fun in the garden with water. We will play water games, do water art and explore all things fun about water. Come ready to get wet! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Bug Day – July 31, 10 a.m.-noon
    We cannot get enough of these amazing six-legged friends! Join us for what has become an annual tribute to insects in the garden. We will be collecting bugs, observing bugs, making bugs and even writing poetry about bugs! Our friends from the MSU Bug House will be back this year with their amazing collections of insects from all over the world! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Camp Monet – Aug. 7-9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Young artists will love spending three days in the garden creating marvelous projects. Campers will use inspiration from the garden to make projects that involve sketching, painting, sculpting, dying, weaving and much more! Lunch will not be provided, so please bring a lunch each day. We will eat together in the garden. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants.) Registration required. Cost per child: $70 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Garden Chefs from Garden to Table – Aug. 14, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Join us in the garden and learn all about interesting edibles and how to make delicious, easy creations. Each session will focus on a different theme and we will prepare a delicious and nutritious lunch using items from the garden. Ages 7 and up. This is a drop off program. Registration required. Cost per child: $25 per person, parking not included.*
  • Bubble Day – Aug. 16, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come celebrate the end of summer vacation at the garden with bubbles! As we explore the wonderful world of bubbles we will paint, eat, and even make music with bubbles. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to come to this bubblelicious bash! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – Aug. 22, 10-11:30 a.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking not included.*
  • Holiday Open House – Dec. 7, 5-7 p.m.
    Enjoy our displays of poinsettias and 16′ poinsettia tree under evening lights. Bring your camera and the kids. Santa will arrive in his sleigh at 5:30 pm. MSU Poinsettias, centerpieces, and wreaths will be for sale. Enjoy some holiday refreshments. Cost per child: free, parking free.

Please register in advance for these events at http://4hgarden.msu.edu/register/register-family.html

Stories for Sprouts & Seedlings
This program is designed especially for young children, ages 2-4, to experience the wonders of gardening through stories and hands-on projects. Each month a different book is featured with an accompanying gardening activity. This program occurs the third Wednesday of the month from 10-11 a.m.

  • May 16, 10-11 a.m. — Butterfly Park by Etlly MacKay
  • June 20, 10-11 a.m. — Where do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
  • July 18, 10-11 a.m. — Good Trick Walking Stick by Sheri M. Bestor
  • August 15, 10-11 a.m. — Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
  • September 19, 10-11 a.m. — Surprise in the Meadow by Anna Vojtech
  • October 17, 10-11 a.m. — Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli

 *The MSU Horticulture Garden parking meters are a cash/credit system. Parking can be paid at the meter and the machines accept both credit and U.S. coins. The charge for parking is $0.25 for 8 minutes. There is a $1.80 minimum for credit card charges. All major credit cards accepted.

Butterflies in the Garden

THE SPRING AND SUMMER 2019 4-H CHILDREN’S GARDENS FAMILY PROGRAM CALENDAR IS NOW AVAILABLE!

The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens will kick-off its 2019 season once again with the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit. The butterflies will be on display from March 15 to April 30, 2019 in the Indoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at Michigan State University. The Butterflies in the Garden exhibit is open to the public from 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Butterflies will have extended hours and special activities during spring break, April 1-5, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. It will be closed Easter Sunday, April 21.

In addition to the butterfly exhibit, the garden hosts a variety of programs for youth and families around various themes.

General admission to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and Butterflies in the Garden exhibit are free, but donations are appreciated. Some events have a $5 fee. There is a parking fee on weekdays. Visit 4hgarden.msu.edu for more information and to pre-register for events.

Download the full calendar with event descriptions and details.

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens Spring & Summer 2019 Calendar - image of page 1MICHIGAN 4-H CHILDREN’S GARDENS SPRING & SUMMER 2019 CALENDAR

  • Butterfly Day – Apr. 27, 10 a.m.-noon
    Join us in celebrating another exciting season of “Butterflies in the Garden.” Come and explore the secret life of butterflies in the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden. We will discover the amazing butterfly life cycle, create butterfly gardens to take home, and much more. Cost per child: $5, parking free.
  • Plant Sale – May 18 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Our plant sale features hanging baskets, perennials, annuals, grasses, herbs, vegetable seedlings, shrubs and more.
  • Garden Geocache Event – June 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Cache veterans and new enthusiasts are welcome at this geocaching adventure. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a day of caching in the garden. We will be finding new caches, trading travel bugs, exploring the gardens and much more. If you have a GPS unit please bring it to this event. If you do not have one, we will provide one. Cost per child: Free , parking free.
  • Stories in the Garden – June 12 from 7-8:30 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free.
  • Mad Hatter Tea Party – June 19, 10 a.m.- noon
    Bring a friend and join us for a spot of tea and cake in the garden. Please wear your fanciest hat, and costumes are quite acceptable. We will be playing games, making hats and much more. Registration required. Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Digger Day – June 27, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come to the garden and explore the world of diggers. Front-end loaders, dump trucks and backs hoes, all of these tools help with projects both big and small in our communities. MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will bring some of MSU’s biggest and best equipment to the garden for us to explore. We will also have activities and crafts so come ready to dig and get dirty at this new event! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Garden Writers Workshop – July 9-11, 10 a.m.-noon
    Young writers will learn about the wonderful world of writing in the garden. Using the garden as their inspiration, campers will connect writing to nature, creating poems, stories, plays and much more. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants). Cost per child: $30 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – July 10, 10-11:30 a.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking not included.*
  • Train Day – July 18, 10 a.m.-noon
    All aboard! Join us in celebrating our love for locomotives with the Lansing Model Railroad Club and the Capital Area Railway Society. Watch trains of all shapes and sizes, help us construct a train village in the garden, discover what happens on the tracks and much more! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Water Day – July 25, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come cool off from the summer heat and have fun in the garden with water. We will play water games, do water art and explore all things fun about water. Come ready to get wet! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Bug Day – July 31, 10 a.m.-noon
    We cannot get enough of these amazing six-legged friends! Join us for what has become an annual tribute to insects in the garden. We will be collecting bugs, observing bugs, making bugs and even writing poetry about bugs! Our friends from the MSU Bug House will be back this year with their amazing collections of insects from all over the world! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Camp Monet – Aug. 6-8, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Young artists will love spending three days in the garden creating marvelous projects. Campers will use inspiration from the garden to make projects that involve sketching, painting, sculpting, dying, weaving and much more! Lunch will not be provided, so please bring a lunch each day. We will eat together in the garden. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants.) Registration required. Cost per child: $70 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Garden Chefs from Garden to Table – Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    Join us in the garden and learn all about interesting edibles and how to make delicious, easy creations. Each session will focus on a different theme and we will prepare a delicious and nutritious lunch using items from the garden. Ages 7 and up. This is a drop off program. Registration required. Cost per child: $25 per person, parking not included.*
  • Bubble Day – Aug. 15, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come celebrate the end of summer vacation at the garden with bubbles! As we explore the wonderful world of bubbles we will paint, eat, and even make music with bubbles. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to come to this bubblelicious bash! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – Aug. 14, 7-8:30 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free.
  • Holiday Open House – Dec. 5, 5-7 p.m.
    Enjoy our displays of poinsettias and 16′ poinsettia tree under evening lights. Bring your camera and the kids. Santa will arrive in his sleigh at 5:30 pm. MSU Poinsettias, centerpieces, and wreaths will be for sale. Enjoy some holiday refreshments. Cost per child: free, parking free.

Please register in advance for these events at http://4hgarden.msu.edu/register/register-family.html

Stories for Sprouts & Seedlings
This program is designed especially for young children, ages 2-4, to experience the wonders of gardening through stories and hands-on projects. Each month a different book is featured with an accompanying gardening activity. This program occurs the third Wednesday of the month from 10-11 a.m.

  • May 15, 10-11 a.m. — Monarch and Milkweed by Helen Frost and Leonid Gore
  • June 19, 10-11 a.m. — Up in the Garden Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
  • July 17, 10-11 a.m. — My Busy Green Garden by Terry Pierce
  • August 21, 10-11 a.m. — Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
  • September 18, 10-11 a.m. — Your Nest Here with Me by Helen Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple
  • October 16, 10-11 a.m. — Bloom by Deborah Diesen

 *You must park in a space designated as a “Pay by Plate” parking space. Signage has been installed in these areas. Parking spaces not marked at “Pay by Plate” may be reserved for permit parking. Parking in a space not designated as “Pay by Plate” parking may result in a parking violation. Immediately after parking, enter license plate number and payment into the lot’s SPOTON pay station or via the MSU SPOTON app. Pay stations accept cash payment or credit cards. They do not give change back nor are refunds issue for time paid for, but not used.

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens - 25th Anniversary cake imageTwenty-five years ago, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens opened as a place for children to learn about plants and science while satisfying their innate wonder and curiosity. The outdoor garden opened in 1993 as the first garden in the United States developed specifically for the education of children on a university campus. It has been called the “most creative half-acre in America.”

In 2003, the indoor garden opened providing year-round educational access to science-based learning. In 2008, the 2,500-square-foot Pete and Sally Smith Schoolyard Education Garden opened to provide educators with ideas and learning concepts in developing outdoor gardens in schoolyards and community spaces and as a demonstration space for environmentally friendly landscape materials.

The gardens have also received many awards for innovative design as well as for the incorporation of the use of technology, including an online virtual tour, wonderwall (website for students to ask MSU faculty questions) and wonder casts (time-lapse videos of plants growing).

“2018 is the 25th anniversary of the opening of the MSU Horticulture Gardens and the 4-H Children’s Gardens. We have a variety of special celebratory events scheduled throughout the year,” said Norm Lownds, curator of the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.

Today the gardens remain a vitally important educational resource for 4-H youth programs, for local schools, and for the young people and their families who visit the gardens each season.
“More than 2 million people, mostly kids, have walked, ran, touched and often hugged their favorite things in the garden.

“We are working to have the gardens looking as good, or even better than they did when they first opened in 1993,” said Lownds.

Projects in process include updates to the Storybook and Train gardens, the Sunflower House, a new shade structure for the Creation Station, and new tables and seats in several locations. Additionally, the Monet Bridge deck and rails will be replaced.

“The wood for this project will come from oak trees that have been harvested from the MSU campus as part of the MSU Shadows program,” Lownds said.

New this year will be a story walk installed in the main 4-H Children’s Garden in partnership with the Capital Area District Library. Custom story walk sign holders, to be installed in the spring, will provide information to incorporate storybooks with the content of the gardens.

“We have selected our book, the content and the story signs are being made,” Lownds said.

Funding is sought for major construction projects to upgrade the Monet Pond, Tree House and twigaloos (house-like structures made from twigs).

Garden Celebration Events

 

Garden Birthday Party – July 14
On July 14 from 10 a.m. to noon, the 4-H Children’s Gardens will host a Garden Birthday Party for youth to enjoy birthday cake, ice cream and activities in the gardens. Register at http://4hgarden.msu.edu/register/register-family.html. To view the full Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens calendar, go to: https://mi4hfdtn.org/2018-4hchildrensgardens-calendar/.

For more information on how you can make a special birthday gift or provide general support for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens, contact the Michigan 4-H Foundation at (517) 353-6692, or donate online now.

Community mural to be displayed in 4-H Children's Garden

Community mural to be displayed in 4-H Children's Garden To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and the Michigan State University (MSU) Horticulture Gardens, garden visitors were invited to “be a part of the art” by contributing to a community mural designed by local artist Kelly Boyle of Okemos. Upon completion, the mural will be displayed in the outdoor 4-H Children’s Garden.

“The mural is a colorful celebration of the 4-H Children’s Garden,” said Norm Lownds, Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens curator. “It will be a wonderful, exciting and vibrant addition to the garden!”

Boyle is a freelance artist, water fitness instructor and adult education teacher. She is an MSU graduate with a degree in English. After graduation, she managed a screen printing operation in Lansing. She has also taught art at the Okemos Nursery School and the Stepping Stones Montessori in East Lansing and hosted summer youth art camps at her home.

“I used to visit the garden all the time with my children. I just love the place,” Boyle said. “My kids would catch frogs, go to the fountains, hop on the chimes, and they loved running through the maze and measuring themselves!”

Community mural to be displayed in 4-H Children's Garden

This is one of six Kelly Boyle community murals, five of which are in the Lansing area. In addition to the 4-H Children’s Garden mural, three murals were made for Meridian Township, one was for Central Montessori School, and one is at Raven Hill Discover Center in East Jordan, Michigan. Each mural is unique and has its own theme and story based on its location.

“The 4-H Children’s Garden mural is inspired by things in the garden,” Boyle said. “It will be installed close to the frog pond, so there is a frog and a lily pad in the design. It is a whimsical, playful, childlike design; everybody should be able to recognize something from the garden.”

The mural also includes a rainbow, handprints, children, butterflies, sunflowers, Wilbur the peacock and the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.

The mural is 32 feet wide by four feet tall and consists of four 4- by 8-foot panels. Youth and adult participants at the 4-H Children’s Garden Birthday Bash, as well as attendees at the MSU Horticulture Gardens Herbal Luncheon and Garden Day, were able to paint a section of the mural. A color palette was provided by Boyle for each panel, ensuring a cohesive feel for the completed mural. It will be installed in the 4-H Children’s Garden on the fence near the train tracks behind the Alice in Wonderland Maze.

“I love to watch everyone as they paint,” Boyle said. “Some approach painting with trepidation, but when nudged they will try it. You can see a deep concentration, joy and satisfaction on their faces as they paint. The colors are so vibrant and rich.

“I recall one boy who was only about 2 who wanted to paint a section of the mural. I was a little hesitant but gave him a brush and colors for the lily pad. He was so careful and meticulous when painting.”

Community mural to be displayed in 4-H Children's Garden

To create a mural, Boyle cuts and power sands the panels made of aluminum and plastic. She then draws the design on the panels and paints the black outlines. She might also paint some background colors, if needed. Then the community is invited to paint the panels, either in one day or spread out across multiple days. Boyle then goes back over the outline and touches up the mural. The final step is to apply a protective coating or varnish to seal the mural.

“When I was learning how to do murals, I called Tony Hendrick, who has a mural around the RE Olds Museum in Lansing. He gave me so much help and information. I am really grateful for his help,” she said.

The mural was supported by a private donation from Art and Marlene Cameron. Art recently retired as the director of the MSU Horticulture Gardens. Marlene is a graphic artist and has assisted Boyle with murals in the past as a “muralista” – a mural painter.

“Marlene has helped with the murals for Meridian Township in the past. She thought it would be great to do one for the 4-H Children’s Garden.”

Michigan 4-H Children's Gardens

The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens has received several distributions from the estate of Owen G. Barr, of Grand Ledge.

Barr was born July 15, 1921, in Delaware Twp., Ohio, and passed away Sept. 3, 2014, in Lansing, Michigan. Owen was the owner of Lansing Ice and Fuel and a veteran of WWII, serving in the U.S. Army. He took great pride in caring for his house and yard along with giving back to his community.

Estate gifts can make a difference by meeting critical needs for 4-H, and in this case, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.

“The gardens exist on private funding. When estate gifts are received, they are turned right back around to developing the program and supporting the staff that works at the gardens,” said Norm Lownds, Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden curator. “The 4-H Children’s Gardens depend on donations for it to even exist.”

Thanks to Barr’s generosity, several upgrades to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens have been made possible in preparation for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens’ 25th anniversary next year. The renovations being made will help enhance and expand the efforts to connect kids to plants and the environment.

“Estate gifts allow us to enhance and expand both the physical 4-H Children’s Gardens and the programs that we offer. These gifts allow us to continually meet the changing needs of teachers, students and parents in ways that enable kids to experience plants in new and exciting ways,” Lownds said.

Estate gifts are considered a type of planned gift. Planned gift donors who provide documentation of their legacy commitments for 4-H in advance are recognized as members of the A.G. Kettunen Society. Established in 2007, this society allows donors to share their wishes and the impact they would like to see their gift make to benefit Michigan’s youth. A.G. Kettunen Society members receive a recognition certificate, permanent acknowledgement as legacy donors in the foundation’s annual report, and, for gifts that exceed $25,000 at maturity, recognition as Cornerstone Society members.

“An estate gift to the 4-H Children’s Gardens is an excellent way to leave a legacy that will impact the community and next generations. Support will ensure that our world-class children’s garden and its world-class educational opportunities are available to children and families for years to come. Support provides opportunities for children to experience plants in ways that will impact them for the rest of their lives. Estate gifts help to ensure that the amazing space that is the 4-H Children’s Gardens will be here for kids to experience for the next 25 years and beyond,” Lownds said.

If you are considering any type of planned gift, please contact Amanda Masters, assistant development director for 4-H, at (517) 884-4691 or by e-mail at amasters@msu.edu to verify that your gift intent can be met.

 

Photo cutline: Thanks to an estate gift from Owen G. Barr, several upgrades to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens have been made possible in preparation for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens’ 25th anniversary next year.

Michigan 4-H Children's Garden

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.

Andrew’s Story

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.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.

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.

Michigan 4-H Children's Garden
Per G. Lundin (photo left), Michigan assistant state 4-H leader from 1925-1956, instructs 4-H boys in a handicraft project.

Karen Hipple documented a planned gift to create an endowment for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens in memory of her father, Per G. Lundin (photo left), Michigan assistant state 4-H leader from 1925 to 1956.

Karen Hipple, of Scottsdale, Arizona, grew up in East Lansing the youngest of four daughters. Their father, Per G. Lundin, worked for Michigan State University (MSU) Extension as the assistant state 4-H leader on MSU’s campus for 31 years until he retired in 1956.

Hipple went on to graduate from MSU in 1962 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and became an elementary school teacher. She married and had one son. For many years, she resided in the Birmingham, Michigan and St. Louis, Missouri areas before moving to Scottsdale.

Although she settled away from her hometown, Hipple never forgot the place she loved and called home for many years – MSU. To commemorate this special time of her life, Hipple documented a planned gift in memory of her father’s legacy, which when received will create the Per G. Lundin Fund for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.

“It is with great love and admiration that Karen has chosen to honor her father with this gift that will benefit the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens,” said Kristi Bird Hutchings, Hipple’s niece. “My grandfather’s career was devoted to 4-H and the impact he made on many 4-H youth across the state was phenomenal. Aunt Karen and her sisters had a great appreciation for their father’s work, having heard many conversations that took place around their kitchen table while they were growing up.”

Lundin served MSU Extension as assistant state 4-H leader from 1925 to 1956 and as part-time 4-H agent in Schoolcraft County in 1923 and 1924. Lundin is known for his work in developing the 4-H handicraft, electrical and poultry programs in Michigan. He also authored many 4-H bulletins in archery and fire prevention in addition to his specialty areas. A native of Sweden, Lundin received his bachelor’s degree from MSU in 1920 and taught agriculture at Manistee High School before taking a full-time position with MSU Extension.

Once the endowment is funded, it will annually support the delivery of Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens educational programs. The outdoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden opened in 1993 as one of the five major gardens of the MSU Horticulture Demonstration Gardens. It was the first garden in the United States developed specifically for the education of young children on a university campus. With over 150,000 annual visitors, the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens have grown to include the original outdoor 4-H Children’s Garden, the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden and the Smith Schoolyard Demonstration Garden.

“It is Karen’s hope that by sustaining the ongoing mission of the gardens, her gift will help promote an understanding of the importance plants play in our daily lives, nurture the wonder and curiosity in a child’s mind, and provide a place of enrichment and delight for children of all ages,” Hutchings said.

A planned or deferred gift is a donation that is arranged by the donor, typically through a will, trust or estate plan, to be allocated at a future date, often after the donor has passed away. Planned gifts can be funded with cash, equity or property through a variety of gift vehicles.

In recognition of naming MSU a beneficiary of her trust, Hipple has been recognized as a member of the MSU Landon Society. Similarly, planned gift donors to the Michigan 4-H Foundation are recognized as members of the A.G. Kettunen Society.

If you are considering a planned gift, endowment or other special gift to support 4-H, contact Amanda Masters at (517) 884-4691 or by email at amasters@msu.edu.

In addition to the new restrooms opening (photo top left), a new schoolhouse entrance (photo top right), My Plate theme garden (middle photo) and willow art structures (bottom photo) were installed in the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens this summer.
In addition to the new restrooms opening (photo top left), a new schoolhouse entrance (photo top right), My Plate theme garden (middle photo) and willow art structures (bottom photo) were installed in the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens this summer.

In addition to the new restrooms opening (photo top left), a new
schoolhouse entrance (photo top right), My Plate theme garden
(middle photo) and willow art structures (bottom photo) were
installed in the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens this summer.

The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens received a facelift this past summer. A new entrance and theme garden were installed in the Schoolyard Demonstration Garden and three willow art structures are among the additions.

“The willow structures were created by artist Bim Willow, who does art all around the country and is very well known. He created our willow dragon a few years ago,” said Jessica Wright, Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens education coordinator. “We knew we wanted to do something to change the feel near the east entrance.

The willow structures are under the spruce trees, which makes you feel like you’re in an enchanted forest.”

The willow structures are equipped with miniature furniture, which makes for a comfortable and creative space for children to read and write.

“So far, people love them! I was hoping that kids would go down there and think ‘Wow, this is a space where I can play whatever kind of imaginary game that I want!’” Wright said.

This year, the 4-H Children’s Gardens will be celebrating their 23rd year of operation. Wright and garden curator Norm Lownds have big plans for the future.

My Plate Garden“We’re designing a plan for a new play structure,” she said. “There are lots of new developments and play equipment out there that we want to take advantage of, and these additions are the kick-off to new play equipment.”

In addition to the willow art structures, the Schoolyard Demonstration Garden has a fresh, new look and features new learning experiences.

“We also installed a new schoolhouse entrance to the Schoolyard Demonstration Garden with a cast iron bell that the kids can ring. We wanted to add a ‘wow’ presence, so we put it in to let people know they can explore inside,” she said. “We also added a flag with a light outside, just like real schoolhouses have. It looks really nice, and we’re really excited about how much it has changed the entrance to the garden.”

The Schoolyard Demonstration Garden has a new theme garden. The My Plate Garden – complete with a plate, knife, fork and spoon – is a space where kids and parents can learn about agriculture and food sciences. Even with all the new additions, the gardens have kept and maintained their most popular attractions, such as the musical chimes and the treehouse. “We want the garden to be recognizable but include spots for new things. We want to keep the iconic pieces in the garden but also add new features that can be changed, adapted and grown upon,” Wright said.

4-H Children's Garden Willow Art StructuresIn addition to the keyboard, a new drum set has been added to the Sound Garden, and a new trellis in the Better Living Garden. The new additions create a more imaginative environment for kids to play in, create, and explore science and art.

“Overall, the new additions have encouraged our visitors to have a more lasting experience in the garden instead of just a walk through,” Wright said.

4-H Childrens Garden Monet Bridge

4-H Childrens Garden Monet BridgeAs the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens celebrated its silver anniversary this summer, ongoing maintenance and repair continued for many of the outdoor features of the gardens. The Monet Bridge was no exception.

This past summer, the Monet Bridge was replaced and built using lumber from trees from the Michigan State University campus through the MSU Shadows Program of the Sustainable Wood Recovery Initiative (SWRI), a partnership between the MSU Department of Forestry, Landscape Services, the MSU Surplus Store, and the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum.

“The lumber for the Monet Bridget was from Kalamazoo Street around the river,” said Dan Brown, MSU Department of Forestry wood recovery academic specialist. “The trees were leaning over the river and had to come down.”

The trees were white oak, which are rot-resistant and good for outdoor applications, he said.

The SWRI promotes environmental responsibility and creates an enclosed loop of sustainability. After campus arborists remove trees, they undergo a three-month process of milling and drying. Then, the lumber is categorized and made into products by artisans for resale or earmarked for special projects on campus.

Additional examples of the MSU Shadows Collection can be seen throughout the MSU campus. Shadows wood was used to craft countertops in Sparty’s Cabin, benches in the Natural Resources Building and a life-sized giraffe for the IQ building.

“For those projects like the giraffe, benches and the Monet Bridge, the trees grew on campus,” Brown said. “The whole carbon footprint of the Monet Bridge is 3 miles – it never left campus. The trees grew here for 200-plus years and are still on campus and are hopefully at the 4-H Children’s Garden for another 30 years.”

Brown explained that, in the past, when trees were removed from campus because of decline, safety concerns, storm damage or construction, they were converted into wood chips, used as biofuel or sent to a landfill.

“We partner with the Beal Botanical Gardens – they’re the keeper of the trees,” Brown said. “Every tree on campus is numbered and tracked in a database. We know where the trees came from, who planted them and where they are located. We also have our own arborists who take care of the trees. They inspect for insect damage, prune and take down the trees when the time comes.”
From there the MSU Forestry program runs the sawmill and lumber kilns on campus. Two or three students per semester are responsible for all of the milling and drying. Then they partner with local artisans to repurpose campus trees into handmade, heirloom-quality works of art.

“We have wood species that you won’t find anywhere else, and therefore each Shadows item is one of a kind and tells a unique story about MSU history, including markings from lightning strikes and maple syrup tap holes.”
Since its beginning in 2014, the SWRI has been an interdisciplinary effort to develop a recovery and repurpose system for campus trees, increase urban wood educational opportunities for students, and produce lumber and create products that provide economic, environmental and social benefits to the greater MSU community.

This is not the first time the bridge has undergone construction. In 2004, the pond liner was replaced. The Monet Bridge was lifted out of place and stored for two weeks in the parking lot. 4-H Children’s Garden student interns cleaned and stripped old paint from the bridge, rescued the turtles and fish from the pond and cared for the animals during the renovations.

The Monet Bridge is one of the most recognizable features of the gardens. This bridge is an exact replica of the bridge in Monet’s garden in Giverny, France. Monet’s passion was his garden, he “painted because of flowers.” His favorites were water lilies. Horticulture is defined as the art and science of growing plants. Some of the plants surrounding the pond were grown from seeds from Monet’s garden. Nearby plants typically include calliopsis, Russian sage, flax, purple top verbena and yarrow. The Monet Bridge was originally sponsored by the Garden Club of Greater Lansing in memory of Myrtia Higgins Koppelman.