Thanks in part to BTG, Children’s School Sensory Garden fosters students’ love of nature


Bird, Tree & Garden Club President Norman Karp speaks at Children’s School. Photo by Greg Funka.

Beverly Hazen | Staff Writer

The Children’s School now has a Sensory Garden for the children, thanks, in part, to contributions by the Bird, Tree & Garden Club.

“When the committee from BTG met with the staff of the Children’s School, along with Jack Voelker (director of recreation and youth Services), and Ryan Kiblin (supervisor of gardens and landscaping), the excitement of that staff was contagious,” BTG President Norman Karp said. “They felt the Sensory Garden would be a tremendous teaching tool that would also be a lot of fun for the kids. The BTG is happy to fund this project and create a long-term improvement to the school and the grounds.”

Kiblin said she is pleased to be part of the garden project for children at Chautauqua. At one point, she said, the staff asked whether the kids had to stay on the path and just look at the garden.

“No! We want them to go off the path and into the shrubs and find the bugs under the rocks!” she said. “It makes me feel good that I am spreading the love of Mother Nature to kids.”

She said the garden is coming along after a first year under tough weather conditions.

“We’ll add a few things here and there, but it is good to go,” she said.

She said she has heard the kids have enjoyed the garden and are learning a great deal. They even ate a salad made with the lettuce and basil from the garden.