Our Backyard at the Long Island Children's Museum
The transformation of an “asphalt alley” into a vibrant, award-winning outdoor nature space developed over several years at the Long Island Children’s Museum. LICM’s nature space, Our Backyard began in a 500 sq. foot space and involved little more than 10 bucket gardens that would provoke visitors to use all their senses. Today, the near 4,000 sq. foot exhibit space includes areas devoted to exploration of herb, vegetable and ornamental gardens, stations for weather forecasting, opportunities to create art and music and even learn about insects. There is a dedicated area for waterplay.
Rosa Lee Young’s Outdoor Classroom
A traditional playground in disrepair was removed and a Discovery Garden was designed and implemented at the Childcare Center. Maggie Gray mentored 2 Senior Girl Scouts earning their Gold Award with this endevour. A design plan was created with the input of the staff and even the children at the center. A budget was determined. Grant applications were submitted and funds were raised and the outdoor space was created with lots of sweat from the 2 scouts and other community members. Local contractors were hired for professional services.
The space is enjoyed daily by the children at the center and the staff far prefers it from the previous traditional space. Several of the components include a large truck tire to climb through. A hill with a bridge, a stage for dramatic play, a large open play space with ‘tree cookie’ flooring, a reading bench, a sand pit and much more.
Martin Luther King Community Garden
A community vegetable garden was created with funding from the Village of Rockville Centre. The cedar, raised beds were created by the community participants, both children and adults. The raised beds were arranged with pathways between and planted with seasonal vegetables. Weekly get-togethers included tastings of recipes created with the harvest. The project continued from Earth Day through September 2010.