The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park’s Children’s Garden now has a ‘Grow Zone’.
The Grow Zone is the second finished feature of the Children’s Garden which is currently under development.
The Grow Zone is an area made up of eight structured raised bed planters. These planters are generally easier to maintain and will allow young gardeners to spend more time learning in the garden, rather than struggling with challenges like difficult soil conditions and weeds.
Botanic Park staff hope students who visit will take away important horticultural information, such as the life cycle of a plant, insects and pollination, and the needs of a plant including water, light and temperature.
John Lawrus, Botanic Park manager, said concepts learned while gardening can also help children to develop a respect and responsibility for taking care of our environment.
The Grow Zone, which was created with the help of Greenlight Re and Vigoro Nursery, is large enough to accommodate several visiting school groups, Lawrus said.
“They will have an area which they can call their own and through lessons taught in the Rotary Schoolhouse by teachers and members of the Botanic Park staff, children can learn all of the basics of growing plants,” he said.
Greenlight Re’s Faramarz Romer said working closely with Vigoro Nursery and helping the Botanic Garden team realise its vision has been extremely rewarding for Greenlight Re. “We look forward to seeing children enjoy the Grow Zone as they learn more about our environment and how to care for it,” he said.
Romer also said studies have shown that outdoor play promotes a child’s motor skills and overall strength for a more fit body, as well a assisting a child to stay calm and focussed.
“Being immersed in the electronic age, I feel all children could benefit from a little more physical activity and learning through physical play, and we really think this is what the entire Children’s Garden will achieve when completed,” he said.
Lawrus also believes if Cayman’s children participate in gardening, the fruits and vegetables they grow and eat will have a positive effect on their own bodies.
“Kids love to get their hands and feet in the dirt and by providing a place for it at the Botanic Park, we hope to strengthen a child’s immunity and overall health. Healthy plants lead to healthy eating and a healthy child,” he said.