Jan 24th, 2015

Fieldtrip! Seeking Creatures, Flying Like Birds & Pretty Treasures Like Leaves

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardenlooking

Lewis Ginter teacher and children touching lambs ear plant.

Kristin Mullen leading encouraging the children to “pet” the lambs ear.

I had an amazing time in the Garden last month with these fine young folks from Richmond Public Schools’ Chimborazo Elementary School‘s 3-year-old Head Start  class. We read a story about animals and then looked for birds and other creatures in the Garden with our “binoculars.”  As we explored the garden we decorated our binoculars with leaves and other treasures.  The Garden provides this educational outdoor experience for these students through our Young Buds program. We had a great time looking at all the plants, and the children especially liked “petting” the lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina).  We even flew through the Garden like birds!

Check out those binoculars!

Check out those binoculars!

My husband, Dr. Holland, happens to be the teacher for this class, so I was excited to meet his students and share Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with them. Seeing the Garden through a child’s eyes is something special.  None of the children had been to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden before, and there was so much to take in.  If you haven’t been here before (and even if you have) the Conservatory makes quite an impression. One little girl squeeled with delight, “Ohhhhhh a castle!” And all the Children looked up and ooh-ed and ahhh-ed.

Working here, day after day, I always appreciate the Garden and I try not to take the beauty for granted — ever. But hanging out with this group for the day, there was no mistaking their unbridled joy.  It was contagious.  Have you ever been with 17  3-year olds as they see a real turtle for the first time in their life?  It’s wonderful.

Programs like this are made possible because of generous support from our donors. Thank you to all of the individuals that donate to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Annual Fund.


Head Start class and teachers

Mr. Hollands class pretending to be birds.

Head Start kids during the Young Buds program.

Having fun outside in the Central Garden.

Head Start kids touching a lamb's ear leaf

A leaf that feels like a real lamb’s ears!

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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