Green Thumb Explorers is a program designed to engage and inspire children, offering a variety of topics relevant to today’s world. From seeds, soil and harvest to garden wildlife, from preservation and protection of the environment to a deeper understanding of nature, each Saturday workshop will offer a unique opportunity to explore Lakewold and work in the Children’s Garden. Registration is open for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Saturday workshops begin at 10 am and last until 12:30 pm, and consist of a dedicated lesson, a related hands-on project and time outdoors (weather permitting) with time for a light snack and short break. Workshops are limited to 15 children per session; cost continues on a pay-what-you-can or donation basis.
Schedule of topics:
April 22nd Beekeeping and Diggin’ in the Dirt
Explorers will be treated to a fun program on bees and their vital role in our gardens. Then it’s off to the Children’s Garden where they will plant cool-weather crops and learn about the exotic mollusks that inhabit gardens throughout our region.
May 20th Fairy Fest Event and Children’s Garden
Explorers and their families are invited to this magical event which will inspire, entertain and enlighten young and old alike! Back by popular demand, fairy houses will adorn the gardens and participants are invited to don wings and wands, costumes and clothes appropriate for the fairy affair!
June 17th The Tacoma Nature Center and Children’s Garden
Members of TNC will present Washington Wildlife, exploring the diversity of common wildlife species found in our state. How do they survive amid rapid population growth, expanded highway systems and urgent environmental concerns? Explorers will also be planting seeds of warm-weather crops and harvesting fresh spring greens.
July 15th Native Plants of the Pacific NW
Vancouver, WA native plant expert and artist, Heidi Hansen, joins us in exploring Lakewold Gardens, discovering and ID’ing the numerous native plants that grow among the Rhododendrons, perennials and State Champion trees throughout our 10 acres. Explorers will learn how and why natives thrive in our deep, damp forests when so many other plants fail – knowledge that will help them when planting their own future gardens!
August 19th Growing Good-For-You Greens
Just how nutritious are those veggies we’re growing? After an important lesson that reminds us what’s good in our greens, we’ll spend time in the Children’s Garden harvesting more crops.
October 21st Autumn & What Winter Brings
It’s time to put the Children’s Garden to rest for the season, but only after harvesting the crops and cleaning up the beds. We’ll also plant a cover crop to add nutrients for next year’s garden. Explorers will assess the success rate of crops, what worked and what we’ll do different next spring.
November 11th Peculiar Plants: Medicinals, Potions & Pretty Poisons
Plants are more than just pretty or nutritious, they are used in a wide variety of medications, herbal remedies and, of course, tea. Certain plants, however, are poisonous and should be avoided at all costs, not to mention stinging nettles found along numerous hiking trails – more a nuisance but also avoided!