What is The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden?

The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden will offer an interactive environment so children may experience the learning power of nature.

The Garden will be an inclusive outdoor learning environment, enabling free nature-based play. This will be the first dedicated public children’s garden in NSW, and will teach children to respect and understand the natural world in a hands-on and engaging environment.

The philosophy of Wild Play is what The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden is all about. Aimed at children up to 12 years, the Garden will be a safe environment where children can engage in risk-taking play in an outdoor setting.

Why is the garden important?

"If children lose contact with nature, they won't fight for it".

As reported in The Guardian (November 2012), with half of their time spent looking at screens, the next generation will be poorly equipped to defend the natural world from harm. If children don't feel the texture and function of the natural world when they are young, how can we expect them to protect the natural world as they grow older?

“This new garden will offer a wide range of nature-based learning opportunities for children and families, and greatly enhance and build the capacity of Centennial Park’s existing education programs,” said Janet Hirst, Chief Executive Officer of The Ian Potter Foundation.

Where will it be located?

The perfect location has been chosen adjacent to the Centennial Parklands Education Precinct, where The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden will incorporate and expand on existing outdoor classroom programs aimed at fostering a love and connection with nature. This includes expansion of Centennial Parklands' Bush School program, as well as other formal education programs.

The Garden will give children opportunities to engage in informal programs such as school holiday activities, birthday parties and vacation programs.

View a map of the location here.

Want to know more?

The Ian Potter Foundation Children's Garden at Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens was established over 10 years ago and is a perfect example of what we are hoping to achieve. With over 250,000 visits every year, it offers an educational environment in which children of all ages, backgrounds, physical abilities and cultures can play, explore and discover the natural world.

Watch their video here: