The Children’s Garden

Our Community Partners: 
Hamilton Children’s Museum: Karen McCartney and Team Environment Hamilton: Dr Lynda Lukasik and Team
Hamilton Regional Indian Centre: Natasha Findlay-ClairmontDundurn National Historic Site: Victoria Bick, Sapphire Singh and Team
Elaine Lee: Indigenous Consultant & Mentor, Traditional Healing Program Coordinator, De dwa da dehs nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre McQuesten Urban Farm: Amy Bonin and Team
Wild Carrot Homestead: Laura Buckley Gage Park Softball Association: Mark Vanderheyden
Le Petite Pomme: Mary Clement Hamilton Community Garden Network Neighbour to Neighbour Food Centre: Amy Angelo
Turkstra Lumber Hamilton 
In Kind Sponsorships:
Milestones Public Relations: Jenny Shin & Andrea Joseph Ross and McBride: Rebecca Jeffrey & Wade Poziomka
William Dam Seeds Ltd: Connie Bijl Turkstra Lumber Hamilton 
Black Swallow Living Soils Freeman’s Herbs: Jeff Nickerson, Kim Martin, Brook Tekle Wolde and Team
Luna Adventures Inc & The Luna Homestead: David Masters Van Noort Bulbs
Lee Valley ToolsTropical Expressions Garden Centre 
Connons NurseriesNeedlework
Fortino’s (Mall Road)Hamilton Naturalists’ Club
Long and McQuadeTauskela Woodworks: Bill Tauskela
Partnership with the City of Hamilton: Divisions: The people behind the City partnerships:
Parks & Recreation 
McQuesten Urban Farm 
Urban Indigenous Strategy 
Ward 3 Office 
Adopt a Park 
Hamilton Children’s Museum 
Dundurn National Historic Site 
Forestry & Horticultural 
Sarah Emke, Kara Bunn, Marcia Monaghan, Florence Pirrera, Kiley Elliott, Shelly Hill, Beth Dockstator and team, Adam Watson, Amy Bonin, Ward 3 Office: Councilor Nrinder Nann, Kerry LeClair and Team

Thank yous! Our team:
Founding members: Hazel Cho, Juby Lee, Anaïs Cho, and Michael Bonin 
Gardening Experts: Jes Gale, Laura Buckley, Victoria Bick 
Core team: Marc Pinard-Brown, Megan Sonke, Andrea Joseph, Riina Knowles, Daniella Milan, Melody Lee 
Volunteers: Amy Gowling, Denise O’Brien, Nancy Cheong, Leeor Levy, Caroline Fehr, Nigel Dean 
Little Planters (a growing group of children advisory and helpers) Anaïs C, Adeline S, Levi S, Cece, Ava H and our growing list! 

There are so many people to thank! If we forgot anyone, please blame our heads and not our hearts! The Children’s Garden started as an idea in 2021. And we are grateful to every single person who has helped make this garden a reality!

Ward 3 Hamilton

The proposed Hamilton Ward 3 Children’s Garden is a community initiative born out of a passion for gardening and the need for more safe, natural, local outdoor play and leisure activity spaces for kids.

What is the Children’s Garden?

The Children’s Garden is a natural play garden inspired by, designed and created with and for local children. It is built, planted, maintained and harvested by children, their families, other community members and fellow gardeners.

The Children’s Garden is an imaginative, child-led outdoor experience where kids can play freely, garden and grow, connect with nature and learn about the natural world. It is a safe place where children become “gardeners in training”, so that they may grow up to be knowledgeable and capable stewards of the land.

It is free to access, and children can come and go as they please while maintaining a safe distance from others.

Outdoor activity

For all our children, this pandemic has been a very difficult time with no school, no day care, children are at home, worried about themselves, their families, loved ones and friends getting sick from COVID-19. For them it has meant more screen time, higher stress levels at home, and increased isolation from friends and loved ones.  

Natural Space

A natural space geared towards their needs, like the Children’s Garden, would be incredibly beneficial to them and their families. It has been proven – gardening reduces both the level and effects of stress. A Children’s Garden can be a huge stress reliever for children. Spending time in nature, amongst flowers and trees has been proven to make both children and the elderly feel happier. Gardening teaches children how to relax, calm down and control emotions…. very valuable attributes in our current climate.You can get involved today by becoming a Volunteer. Sign up and you will be joining a group of change-makers, a network strong enough to impact positive change in the lives of children.

Development and learning

Working together in a Children’s Garden with our children helps instill togetherness and a common purpose. As a community we can build bonds with children and create memories from their experiences in the garden. While children are learning a lifelong love of growing things, we can create community among our children.

• Reliability and Responsibility: taking care of a plant day after day, and others relying on you
• Self-confidence + Autonomy: nothing is more rewarding than the fruits of our own labour
• Cause & Effect: the consequences of caring or neglecting plants
• Gardening Basics: species identification and growing fundamentals – soil, sun and water
• Physical Activity: bending, squatting, stretching, lifting & carrying
• Exploring Texture: density, malleability and more
• Growing the Love of Nature: developing curiosity of and commitment to the environment
• Teamwork: with friends, family and neighbours
• Math Skills: counting days, measuring volumes, keeping records
• Creativity: crafting their own landscape designs, painting bird houses or murals, or building small structures
• Elementary Science: learning about season cycles, plant growth cycle, the relationships between plants and insects