Arboretum Supports “Worldwide Day of Play”Children’s Garden, Fall Festival, Perfect For Outdoor Fun
LISLE, IL (September 22, 2008) – Instead of parents barking at their kids to do their homework this weekend, Mom and Dad might start insisting that they go outside and play.
The Morton Arboretum is an official registrant in Nickelodeon TV’s Worldwide Day of Play, Saturday, September 27. The network is going “dark” for three hours, suspending programming, in a move designed to encourage kids and their families to “turn off the TV, get up, get out, and go play,” according to the network. The Arboretum provides get-outdoors enjoyment on the Worldwide Day of Play, and has been doing so every day of the year.
“We fully support this effort to help kids become more active, healthy, and in tune with the world around them. Indeed, we built our Children’s Garden specifically to spark curiosity and imagination about trees and the natural world,” says Katherine Johnson, Arboretum Children’s Garden Manager.
The Children’s Garden is a four-acre wonderland that’s the largest, most interactive garden of its kind in the country, and is unique because it centers the experience on trees. It also permits youngsters the opportunity for unstructured or semi-structured play, which research shows stimulates youngsters’ growth in key areas: using and developing all five senses, learning self-control, and developing the ability to pay attention in school.
Also on September 27, the Arboretum’s annual Fall Color Festival begins. The Children’s Garden presents a drop-in program called “Pumpkin Play” in which kids can decorate a pumpkin (available for purchase) and learn about pumpkin seeds. Elsewhere in the Arboretum, there’ll be a very delightful “scarecrow trail,” mouthwatering delights such as taffy apples, bratwurst, chicken and roasted corn, the sale of garden accents, and even a fun but chilling “Theatre-Hike” presentation of Dracula. In addition, kids and their families can bicycle the nine miles of paved roads, hike the 16 miles of neatly-manicured trails, or wander through the fun, twisted paths of the Maze Garden. (For a full schedule of Fall Color Festival Events, visit www.mortonarb.org, Press Room.)
Positive early experiences in nature foster a lifelong appreciation and respect for living things, according to research. Introducing children to the wonders of trees and nature leaves them more inclined to make decisions that protect the environment as adults.
A new study shows that parents conclude the Arboretum’s exhibit-rich Children’s Garden provides fun, enriching outdoor experiences. The study, by Garibay Group of Chicago, also found that parents view the Children’s Garden as a unique Chicago destination.
This enjoyment occurs as fall color is about to blanket the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres with gorgeous golds, reds, oranges, purples, and other colors. The Arboretum features trees from 40 countries, providing the most unique fall color experience in the Midwest.
The Morton Arboretum gratefully acknowledges the Trustee's Philanthropy Fund of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, whose $90,000 gift made possible the Children’s Garden study, and recommendations to engage children and their families further in the interactive, hands on exploration of trees and nature.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time or sunset, whichever is earlier. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit www.mortonarb.org and click Press Room or call to learn more.