Hibernation Station is open!
Tomorrow it will be 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The poppies wave near Lindsay Street, a few honey bees collect nectar, new flowers continue to emerge: not exactly the picture of winter I’m used to. Scientists are linking the dramatic changes in the arctic ecosystem with weather patterns in the mid-Atlantic. read: http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/
Nevertheless, our calendars will read tomorrow: First Day of Winter.
In preparation for the coming season the Edible Schoolyard staff has built a fort to top all forts. Do you remember the crawl tunnel and bean structure covered in cucumbers, gourds and beans throughout the warmer months?
Picture this: we have covered those same structures in plastic and burlap and leaves to create HIBERNATION STATION! We will decorate with grape-vine wreathes, pine cones, dried flowers and other natural decor. What could be more thrilling than crawling into a cave and snuggling up like bears?!
We recognize that as the seasons change and the temperature drops, the desire for outdoor play diminishes; the developmental need for children to move and explore outdoors does not! Lessons on hibernation are a fascinating way for children to understand survival. When animals hibernate, their body temperature lowers, their breath and metabolisms slow down and they are able to use their body fat for organ functioning in order to survive. Some animals store food in places they hibernate for energy, too.
What would it be like if humans were hibernating? What do you do to prepare for winter?
We have created other options for activities in the garden to entice visitors to explore the garden and stay a while. In addition to hibernation station, Justin, our garden manager rebuilt our “solar house” so that children can crawl inside and act as a bitty plant under Plexiglas.
So put your layers on and head to the garden this winter, there are tons of ways to engage your senses all year long!