Courtesy of Ballard Lions
The new garden enhancements will feature raised beds with fragrant and textured plants at wheelchair height. This map shows where they will be located.

Ballard Lions partners with community to create new Sensory Garden portion

By Ballard Lions Club

September 22, the Ballard Lions will partner with others in our community to build a new section of the Sensory Garden, currently under development adjacent to the Rose Garden at Woodland Park Zoo.

The new section will feature a raised bed with plants that either have a fragrance or have interesting textures, planted at wheelchair height. The Ballard Lions funded the proposal and contacted Seattle Pacific University for volunteer workers through their community service weekend, CityQuest, which aims to involve students in community projects. Through it, they will be dispatching 20 students on Saturday, September 22 to the Sensory Garden to join other volunteers in building this portion.

Ultimately, the new raised bed will be surrounded by smooth paths and will have signs with clear lettering and Braille explaining the plants and which senses they appeal to. You, your friends and your family will all be able to share this experience and more as the garden continues to develop. Everyone is also invited to become a part of the process.

The Sensory Garden concept was first envisioned a few years ago by members of the Queen Anne and Capitol Hill Lions Clubs. Mindful that the Rose Garden itself was brought about by the combined efforts of Seattle Lions Clubs and the Seattle Rose Society, they saw the potential of a further enhancement to provide all people, including those with impairments, with a special place to enjoy nature together. The Lions Club mission to meet the needs of the hearing and sight impaired could be advanced through a safe, wheelchair accessible garden, with a variety of environments to engage all the senses.

A steering committee was formed and they met with the Woodland Park Zoo to secure the site. They obtained funding for the site study and to develop the conceptual plan. By the summer of 2011, the initial phase of the plan, a demonstration garden, was installed. Since then, the steering committee and other volunteers have tended the garden while seeking the additional funds needed to implement the rest of the plan.

The Sensory Garden welcomes donations of plants, time in tending the garden, and funds to take this garden forward. E-mail info@seattlesensorygarden.com for more information on how to participate directly with this garden.

The Ballard Lions also welcome your participation in its projects to benefit those with hearing and sight impairments, and to benefit our community in other ways. Ballard Lions provide assistance to individuals in obtaining help with getting glasses, hearing aids and procedures related to these senses. They also actively contribute to scholarships, direct service agencies, and more. Affiliate with the Ballard Lions to find a friendly way to give back to your community. Contact C. Morgan for more information, 206-524-4841.

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