The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden opened to the public Saturday, March 23. Words like ‘garden’ and ‘playground’ do not begin to describe the new 2.5-acres of varied environments designed to engage children through all their senses. Whether climbing through a giant chestnut treehouse, tasting veggies from the dig and grow garden, hearing the musical mushrooms, smelling the flowering fruit trees or seeing the replica fossils and caves, kids fully experienced the natural world around them as they explored this latest addition to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The grand opening drew in more than 3,000 visitors.

“Our community has grown so much for children and this garden came at the right time,” said Kethia Gates, mom of kindergartener Kennedy. “We will spend a lot of time here!”

The garden has been a work in progress since the Richard’s family gave the initial donation 12 years ago.

“We’re very proud that her vision when she came to the board has come to fruition,” said Jim Richards, one of Alice Richards’ seven children.

“It’s incredible. This is a wonderful place. People are enjoying it; they’re in awe, just like we are,” said Rick Rose, a volunteer at the garden since 2012.


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