Bookworm Gardens is a children's literature-themed botanical garden located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The gardens, founded and run as a grassroots, non-profit organization, works alongside the local community and is partnered with more than 20 other educational and non-profit organizations, such as the University of Wisconsin in Sheboygan and the Mead Public Library. Open seasonally, Bookworm Gardens features 65 gardens, each dedicated to one or more works of children’s literature. The gardens are wheelchair accessible.
In 1999, a local Sheboygan named Sandy Livermore came up with the idea for Bookworm Gardens. Once plans were underway, architect Herb Schaal was employed to design the garden, and local landscapers, builders, architects, and artists were hired to take on the work, and the project was also helped by a large number of volunteers from the local community. In 2010, Bookworm Gardens was officially opened to the public.
Exhibits and Attractions
The exhibits and attractions at Bookworm Gardens are all child-friendly and designed to be touched and explored. The aim of each area is to encourage learning about the natural world through literature.
The pond and wetland Area is inspired by books such a.McElligot’s Pool by Dr. Seuss, and features a wooded area with a river and a number of ponds. One of the larger ponds contains koi and is spanned by a wooden observation bridge.
The design of the butterfly and memory gardens is based on two books.Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert an.Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. The area includes a small garden with a curved path and a paved reading area with rocking chairs for adults and children.
The farm garden includes the barn fro.Charlotte’s Web, a white picketed enclosure, and a small shed, surrounded by a woodland area. Inside the barn is a typewriter fro.Click, Clack, Moo, copies of the boo.Charlotte’s Web, and a model of Charlotte herself. Outside of the barn is a picnic area with benches, a shaded space, and a pagoda located nearby.
Built on stilts and positioned amongst the trees, visitors can find the Magic Tree House, an open-sided treehouse constructed around the trunk of a living tree. The open sides of the treehouse offer a panoramic view of the woods and a broad open space available for group reading and storytelling.
The Japanese garden focuses on the works of Eleanor Coerr, in particular her boo.Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Within the intricately designed garden lies a Japanese tea house with an outside table, a set of chairs, and a selection of rakes for children to use in a raking activity.
The Goldilocks and the Three Bears area is a reading and activity area, and includes a set of chairs belonging to Mummy Bear, Daddy Bear, and Baby Bear in addition to wicker bear sculptures. This area encourages visitors to rea.Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Jan Brett whilst reliving the story in person.
The Magic School bus is an open yellow bus that children can enter and explore. Located near the entrance to the gardens, the bus contains all of the usual components of a school bus, such as seats and a steering wheel. Children are encouraged to climb inside and use their imagination, taking inspiration fro.The Magic School Bus Plants Seeds by Joanna Cole.
The Monster Playhouse is a pink, yellow, and green building designed with cartoon-like angles and peeping windows. Children can go inside the house and play hide-and-seek, opening and closing the windows. Partitioned within a white picket fenced area, the surrounding gardens are filled with flowers. It is inspired b.A Playhouse for a Monster by Virginia Mueller.
The Bookworm Gardens Bookshop sells educational toys, books, and gifts for children of all ages and also provides maps for visitors to use when navigating the gardens.
Ongoing education and program.
Nature-based field trips are seasonally available at the gardens and combine learning about literature within a nature setting. A further program run at Bookworm Gardens is a week-long camp known as Camp Bookworm. Operated by a team of educators from the gardens, the camp explores the various areas of the gardens, learning about authors, illustrators, and animal habitats. The camps are divided by age group from K to 5t.grades and offer age-appropriate activities for those involved.
1415 Campus Dr, Sheboygan, WI 53081, Phone: 920-287-7895
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