Thursday, August 06, 2009

My Big Backyard

I have to interrupt the vacation recap to tell you how impressed I am with the new permanent exhibit at the Botanic Gardens, My Big Backyard.

I've been following along online as friends Tootsie Bell and Sean Murphy & Anne Froning-Wike detailed their installations and I've been listening to everyone rave about it, but still I was not prepared for its splendor! First off, it is HUGE! I had no idea how big it was. (I know, that's what she said.) It took us a good two hours to move through the exhibit and I could have easily spent an entire day investigating every detail, every nook and cranny, every piece of wood. It is very apparent that a lot of time and effort; blood, sweet, and tears; and thought and love went into this project. (Not to mention--money!)

Oh how I wish it really was MY big backyard! (Warren and I did get some really good ideas to steal.)

Over 30 local artists worked on it for the past three years. The idea itself was born about ten years ago. Tonight just happened to be the artist and staff picnic, so we got a chance to talk to a lot of the people involved. Everyone was so enthusiastic and proud. And well they should be.

I especially liked the area designed by Scott Banbury using all reclaimed wood. There were wood building blocks big enough to make a house, poles to construct a tee pee, a sitting area with wood blocks, a tic-tac-toe game, a timber walk, and a life size bird's nest. (Scott also designed benches throughout the exhibit.) It was second only to the opening exhibit with real lawn furniture, real flower beds, and an outdoor kitchen and bathroom. The playhouses were whimsical and warm. You can see that the monkeys did some thorough exploring of them. The toddler area was also really nice and bit more kid-proofed than the rest of the spaces. The monkeys also enjoyed the simple things--some drainage tubes, a downed tree trunk, and a towering Magnolia tree nearby. All of this and an overarching "green" message!

I can already see the multitudes of new mamas, stay at home mamas, and mamas with any amount of spare time spending hours and hours enjoying this amazing space with their families. It's so unique and welcoming and just plain terrific. I can't say enough good things about it. I'm going to think of it as the new Mothersville. (Inside the main building is Project Green Fork certified Fratellis for all of you hungry mamas! Picnics are also allowed!)

Go see it immediately! Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. I recommend getting a family membership for $75. You will definitely want to visit often!

What a wonderful addition to our city. I feel so lucky to get to enjoy it while my kids are still young.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Poopie said...

Can you find out the budget for the hardscaping= materials and installation on that project?

Melissa said...

I totally concur. I think I enjoyed it even more than Harlow!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...