I’ve had a lot of impromptu conversation in the hallways of our organization, when there is an opportunity to stop and wait for groups of school children to pass by me. They are moving on from one of the three experiential activities their class has been engaged in and they are eager to immerse themselves in what comes next. Are you enjoying your visit? What have you learned? What has been your favorite experience so far? I ask.
They all want to answer, chattering, hands up, shifting from side to side, they are so eager to share. “I loved the Sun Garden, and the plants that curl up when you touch them!” “The water cycle game was good. I liked learning where the water goes.” “I liked seeing the chocolate tree. I want one of those in my backyard!” “This place is awesome.” “Planting my own plant was fun. I’ve never done that before.” “This has been the best field trip ever!”
I have to smile. This is the mission being achieved, our organization, your Botanical Center, bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways.
The Quad City Botanical Center teaches essential information about plants and how they sustain our life on earth. In addition to the 7,500 school students we serve annually there are 30,000 other local, regional, and global guests who visit our gardens. Why do they attend? Recently we conducted a community survey that shows people visit primarily to be part of a private or special event. It further revealed that our guests value and benefit from learning about plants and gardening, from momentarily escaping their everyday routines and being immersed in the beauty of our gardens, and by participating in nature related family programs and activities.
Regional, national, and global studies support these same findings! Most people agree that they benefit from exposure to nature, and conversely, that they suffer from nature depravation. Adults report feeling less stressed and mentally restored after spending time in nature. Children show signs of greater focus, self confidence, and an increased ability to cope with daily stresses after just a short time outdoors. It is important to note that when people are engaged with nature there is a measureable increase in their respect and appreciation for the natural world, helping them build a personal foundation for on-going environmental stewardship.
How does our garden grow? Our garden grows in direct relation to your investment, your commitment, and your care. We are a 501 c-3 non-profit organization; we are supported solely through private contributions and the revenue we earn from providing daily services. Your contribution helps us educate students of all ages about the plants that sustain our lives. Funds raised this fall will also help us maintain our tropical collection, providing ample heat, light and water over the long winter months. Be a part of this growing adventure by helping us reach our 2011 annual giving goal of $50,000.00.
With Kindest Regards,
Ami D. Jenkins