First, the why?
Now, the how? The Planning Process
Subsequently the Museum contracted with COGdesign, The Community Outreach Group for Landscape Design of Waltham MA, a non-profit service organization whose mission is to provide quality landscape design to community groups.In June of 2005, under the direction of Cogdesign, a Community Design Charette was held at the Museum. This event brought together community members, design professionals and other stakeholders who were interested in how this project could further the Museum’s educational mission by creating a fun, safe, attractive and environmentally sound green space stimulating to children and adults.COG designers, museum staff, board members, and community member’s brainstormed ideas for what a green space, belonging to a children’’s museum, might look like. By the end of the workshop session, three conceptual plans were developed, with one of them ultimately being selected as the design of choice.
- Environmentally sound
- Sustainable design
- Sound horticultural principles
A decision early on was made to feature Rising, our elephant mascot, in one of three themed gardens – The African Garden. The two other featured gardens are a Dinosaur Garden and a Bird and Butterfly Garden. The themes of the gardens would provide a rich outdoor environment which would foster a child’s sense of curiosity and give them the tools and skills required to be lifelong learners and stewards of the environment.
Modern Landscaping, Inc.of North Easton, MA was chosen as the landscaping contractor, and Romancing the Woods of Woodstock, New York was selected as the building contractor for the gazebo, tree house and arbor.
Our educational philosophy
While our local communities continue to cope with improving their MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment Systems) scores, children’s museum’s continue to stress and promote that interactive learning presents learners with real situations that they can both experience and change by their choices and actions. It is active, hands-on learning at its best and it is the heart and soul of children’s museums and outdoor environmental education.
Concepts are not learned in isolation, but experienced in real-life. Interactive learning tends to be holistic, i.e. learners are required to integrate diverse knowledge instead of focusing on isolated units of information.
According to Orion and Hofstein (1994) “science education is conducted predominantly in 3 types of learning environments: the classroom, the laboratory, and outdoors. “The outdoor environment is most neglected by teachers and curriculum developers”. This is unfortunate because all outdoors is science! L.B. Sharp author of Outside the Classroom and a historical figure in outdoor education said “”That which can be best taught inside school rooms should be there taught, and that which can be best learned through experience dealing with native materials and life situations outside the school should there be learned”.”
- Institute of Museum and Library Services
- Hannaford Charitable Foundation
- Hawkeye Fence
- Makepeace Neighborhood Fund
- Ronald McDonald House Charities
- SHADE Foundation
- CWB Contractors
- Doran Family Foundation
- Easton MOMS Club
- General Sandblasting
- George Ramlose Foundation
- Ramco Survey & Stakes
- Sandy & Wayne Bishop
- Waste Management
- Naomi & Walter Chucnin Foundation
- Easton Concrete & Cutting & Drilling
- Easton Lions Club
- The Local Cultural Councils of Abington, Attleboro, Berkley, Braintree, Bridgewater, Easton, Mansfield, Middleboro, Plympton, Raynham, Sharon, Stoughton, and West Bridgewater
- Ruth & Frank Riske
- Pamela Welch Associates & Land Surveyors
COGdesign team members
- Ginnie Norman, team leader
- Kath Holland
- Beth Ranahan
- Margery Stegman
- Gabrielle Whitcombe
- Pam Borbely
- Mark Cuddy
- Karen Frick
- Steven Hill
- Steve Keohane
- Jane Rotondi
- Paula Peterson