In the lead-up to summer, the children’s playground at Owl’s Head Park has been remodeled with “a kids touch,” as Susan Frances and Theresa Gonzalez of the Park’s Horticulture Group of Shore Road Parks Conservancy (SRPC) conducted a series of kids’ workshops on Saturday mornings between mid-May and June in the children’s playground.
The workshops involved creating the Children’s Pollinator Garden and Pollinator Habitat behind the playground. The children were encouraged to help plant and create artwork to be displayed around the playground. Also involved were educational portions, as the children learned the basics of “pollinating” bugs (bees, butterflies, moths, ladybugs, etc.) and planting.
One of the workshops also added a local artistic flavor as Art on the Corner’s Deirdre Laughton led children in painting signs and the metal cut-out owls along the playground’s perimeter.
The workshops were made possible via a $1,900 capacity fund grant from Partnerships for Parks to make the Garden and Pollinator Habitat, designed by Jimmy Johnson, creator of the Narrows Botanical Gardens. The remainder of it was paid for by SRPC.
Frances said that the workshops were planned to inspire children to be involved in gardening and in other ways to contribute to the park.
“It’s about making the kids a part of the park, because a lot of the times they come in and they play and a lot of the times, they don’t respect it, but if they contribute to it, then they’ll feel like the park is theirs,” said Frances.
Frances talked about how funding was the biggest challenge of it all, while remaining hopeful to make do with what they have, always looking to better the park, which also inspired the idea of the workshops.
“During the summer, [the leaves] grow really high and it looks gross,” said Frances. “For the kids, it’s not a pleasant place and we wanted to make it a pleasant place. We wanted to bring the garden closer to the kids. That way, that they can see it, observe it, watch it grow and watch it bloom in color.”
Noting how the kids loved the painting aspect, she said it was something they needed to incorporate more into the park, but the workshops effectively served their purpose.
“It’s just about bringing kids into the park and having them contribute to the park in a meaningful way that is going to make it feel like it is their place,” said Frances.