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Exciting new play area planned

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Young Observer had the opportunity to get up close and learn a little more about an exciting new project planned for children at Botanical Gardens.

An experienced group of minds have come together, including Neville Richardson, curator of the Botanical Gardens, Justin Lavigne, park planner, Katarina Hoskins, volunteer/project manager and Austrian Honorary Consul/small business owner, and Tom Butterfield, of Masterworks, plus a whole host of volunteers to work on designing a children-friendly nature play area for the Botanical Gardens.

Ms Hoskins said: “The Botanical Gardens is a unique natural park system and attracts some 100,000-plus visitors and locals per year and due to its central location, it is an important venue for recreational activities.

“As someone with young children, I always wondered why there is not a dedicated children's area in the Botanical Gardens and having talked to Steve Burgess (retired Environmental Education Officer at the Botanical Gardens) last year we started to look into possibilities of creating a play area and discovery garden within the Botanical Gardens for use by children up to the age of 12.

“Our intention is not to create a typical playground but rather create something that would retain the visual integrity of the Botanical Gardens using natural material and make the existing areas more children friendly.

“We are also hoping to include an educational dynamic to bring awareness of the Botanical Plants for the children.”

The areas the team is proposing to develop include parts of the formal gardens. These areas are the Chinese/Zen Garden, Maze, Persian Garden and the Banyan Trees area.

From renewing rotten wooden bridges to designing a mosaic stepping stone game symbolising Bermuda's animals and plants, a water feature and a safe tree house for children to climb, the team has developed some safe natural fun ideas for families to enjoy.

Ms Hoskins added: “With the agreement in principal by the Government the project has been driven by volunteers.”

Masterworks will be hosting an informative event to showcase the project scheduled on June 14 from 5-8pm.

Mosaic artist Nikki Murray Mason offered a mosaic workshop where students donated their art work towards the project and local architect firms Botelho Wood Architects and Westport Architecture, and landscape architect David Cox are helping with drawing plans for this project. Various local law firms, and some corporate sponsors and a few contractors have shown interest to assist with the development of the project.

For further questions please e-mail Katarina Hoskins at katarina.amann@hotmail.com

Looking good: a sample of the Botanical Gardens artwork coordinated by Mosaic Artist Nikki Murray, who hosted a mosaic artwork workshop for the Kids Discovery Garden Project initiative

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Published June 09, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated June 09, 2016 at 9:56 am)

Exciting new play area planned

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