Children's Garden Center of Harvest Festival
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
October 3, 2007
The Child Study and Development Center held its annual Harvest Festival
last week, providing family members the opportunity to explore the garden
their children have been tending all spring and summer.
The children led moms and dads and grandparents and siblings down the
path to where purple and green beans, tomatoes, squash and pumpkins were
growing. Kids stood in line to get their faces painted or to take a ride
in a horse-drawn wagon. Some of the children tried to eat donuts dangling
from a string while the younger kids sifted sand to find colored plastic
Parents sampled bread made from zucchini grown in the community garden
and pickles made from its cucumbers. There were also baskets of apples
that the kids had picked a few days earlier.
“The Harvest Festival is both an opportunity to welcome new families
to the center and to celebrate the children’s efforts in the children’s
garden. The garden is the centerpiece of the center’s “Growing
a Green Generation” project,” says John Nimmo, associate professor
of family studies and the executive director of the center.
Funded through the Anna and Raymond Tuttle Environmental Horticulture
Endowment, Growing a Green Generation is a 10-year collaboration between
horticulture experts in COLSA and the Cooperative Extension and early childhood
teachers and faculty at CSDC. The project includes an annual conference
for educators at the CSDC and the UNH greenhouses, consultancy outreach,
and a curriculum handbook.
“The garden is a place for making meaningful connections for young
children between the natural world and our social need to create a harvest.
We are very aware that children’s ideas and efforts must be appreciated
as a significant part of our broader vision for sustainability,” Nimmo
The CSDC’s commitment to the environment is also evident in its
new natural playground, designed around natural landscaping features and
the use of trees, shrubs and rocks, rather than expensive pre-fabricated
structures. Almost completed, the playground was funded with the help of
the UNH Parents Association and the UNH Foundation.