By: Jillian Wilson
A dynamic new children's garden will soon sprout up right here in Rock Island.
The main goal of the Botanical Center's new garden is to inspire fun and knowledge about plants, water and river ways.
But it's not just for kids, families are encouraged to play too.
"The children's garden has all of the elements that will help children interact, socialize, learn," says Ami Jenkins, Executive Director, QC Botanical Center.
Today, city leaders, preschoolers, and members of the community dug in to break ground for the new project.
"Safety is always a concern for us with our children. So the children's garden actually gives children the opportunity to experience some of these things that we as a child were able to experience in nature."
It's a 1.2 million dollar project. The money comes from federal grants and donations.
The Rock Island Rotary Club also donated a hefty amount for the new entry way to reflect rotary's community service.
"This is an amazing garden. It's important in so many ways. It's very unique to the area. The closest children's garden that we have in the Midwest."
There will also be a man-made river so kids can learn to navigate through the water. they can also learn about plant life along the Mississippi.
Project leaders say it will be the perfect place for an adventure.
and parents we talked to agree.
"My uncle had a farm and I always enjoyed going up there, getting in the mix, I think it brightens up the kid's moods, brings a lot out of them," says Chris Conwell, a Rock Island father.
It will also be fun for parents to see how the Botanical Center will transform; a playground for all generations.
"We'll be down here, I'm sure there will be a lot of kids, too," says Conwell.
The project is set to be finished in the fall and a grand opening will follow in the spring.