Children and adults sitting on a custom garden bench with the Gabby's Dollhouse logo and characters

Last Thursday, KidsGardening joined folks from the Caring Center in Philadelphia, PA to celebrate the installation of a “Kitty Fairy-Tail Garden” in partnership with DreamWorks Animation and their show Gabby’s Dollhouse. The gathering, which coincided with Earth Day, included planting activities, seed ball making, and most importantly the unveiling of the new garden space!

Kids in colorful hats, coats, face coverings, and garden gloves are planting in a raised bed.The Caring Center, an early childhood education childcare center, after-school, and summer program was excited to augment their outdoor play area by expanding their garden space. Previously, the Center had three raised beds that were being used by children to grow food that would make its way into snacks, meals, and educational activities like cooking classes and taste tests. The beds were over a decade old and on the smaller side. In an effort to provide more space for children who attend programming at the Center to learn and grow, educators proposed refurbishing some of the existing beds and expanding the garden footprint. 

With the help of Terren Landscapes, eight new raised beds were installed along the perimeter of the Caring Center’s outdoor playspace, one old raised bed was rebuilt, and three apple trees were planted. Additionally, the Center teamed up with Tiny WPA to install a special Gabby’s Dollhouse planting bench (pictured above) that can be used to store tools, grow flowers, and provide a place for children to sit and relax with friends.

KidsGardening Executive Direction Em Shipman, who attended the Earth Day event, says "it was an honor to be able to support the Caring Center to see their teaching garden dreams become reality. Our partnership with DreamWorks Animation is allowing the phenomenal educators at this preschool and early care center to engage 160 kids in garden-based education in just this first year. Kids are learning where their food comes from, connecting with plants and nature and it's cycles, and getting therapeutic time outdoors."

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