MCKEE CHILDREN'S GARDEN
MCKEE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Located on a tropical hammock at the southern gateway to Vero Beach, Florida, The McKee Children’s Garden is designed as an exciting outdoor destination that inspires imagination and curiosity in children through interaction, education and exploration. With McKee Botanical Garden’s renewed focus on native horticulture though developing a modern interpretation of its jungle heritage, the Children’s Garden took root embracing many of the historical aspects of the site while developing imaginative and engaging ways to reveal the connection between the regional flora and fauna and the tropical environment. The garden explores the ecosystem relationships between karst geologic features, sand dunes, the forest floor, the trunk layer and the jungle canopy.
The McKee Children’s Garden will nurture a powerful bond between children and nature through the garden’s organizational framework. Two interwoven transects of ecology and culture carry visitors through a 3-dimensional environment that allows children to move through the jungle from forest floor to canopy, discovering and unfolding stories along the way. The garden design process evolved through digital and physical modeling and sketching, research, and a participatory design process involving community members and stakeholders.