Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden
April 12, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President
The State Botanical Garden is one of Georgia’s treasures. This public service and outreach unit of the University of Georgia serves our state in a number of ways. Conservation and research staff help to preserve Georgia’s native plants and promote biodiversity. Educators offer classes to learners of all ages in subjects ranging from horticulture to photography. The trails and display gardens present a spectacular variety of flora and fauna for visitors to enjoy. And now the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden provides a lively space for families to engage with nature, history, and the arts.
The Children’s Garden, which opened last month, is named for the late Alice H. Richards, a founding member of the Botanical Garden’s Board of Advisors who proposed the initial concept for the garden. A $1 million donation from Mrs. Richards’ family launched the effort to create the garden in her memory. All 80 members of the Board of Advisors contributed to the Children’s Garden fund, as well as 100 percent of the Botanical Garden staff—demonstrating their commitment to this wonderful feature.
The 2.5-acre Children’s Garden is an interactive outdoor classroom designed to showcase Georgia and the valuable natural resources in our state. Visitors can see, touch, and explore multiple points of interest—from granite mined in Elbert County and a replica of Ellison’s Cave in Walker County to a pitcher plant bog and a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy. Moreover, it provides a place for families to connect with each other and additional avenues for the University to expand our teaching, research, and outreach programs.
I am grateful to everyone who helped bring the Children’s Garden to life, and I look forward to the many ways it will enrich the lives of the next generation of Georgians.