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Sprucing Up Planting Fields

Soon, visitors of Planting Fields Arboretum will have an opportunity to enjoy nature on every sensory level. On July 11, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new sensory garden and entrance pavilion at the arboretum, which will provide more accessibility for the disabled while also offering a design that appeals to all of the senses.

The 1.6 million, 3,500-square-foot garden and pavilion are being built as a joint venture between New York State Parks and the Planting Fields Foundation.

The Sensory Garden is a design collaboration between New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Gibney Design Landscape Architecture PC (certified landscape architect) to engage people of all abilities. The use of wide paved pathways with straightforward landmarks will ensure mobility.  Raised plant beds are incorporated within the garden, which will allow each visitor to interact independently with the plantings.  The garden has been designed to appeal to all the senses: smell the fragrance of flowers; see colors and patterns of light and shadow, listen to the rustling leaves, water and wildlife; touch leaves, bark, flowers and stones, feel the warming sun and cooling shade.

The Sensory Garden should be a wonderful addition to Planting Fields, which will bring the joy of gardening to people of all ages and physical abilities. The new garden also features spaces for outdoor classes, lectures and demonstrations.

Dave Gugerty, Democratic Legislative candidate for District 18 who was at the ground breaking said, “This innovative garden will allow easy access for our physically challenged residents to easily see, hear, smell and touch nature up close and with no restrictions.”