Wickham Park is a non-profit, private foundation whose property extends into both Manchester and East Hartford, Connecticut.
The park contains 250 acres of gardens, open fields, woodlands, ponds, picnic areas, sports facilities, and other attractions.
“Imagine if you will a garden for the senses, touching each individual through the use of raised garden beds, fountains, assistive technology, and unique art.”
- Jeff Maron, Director of Wickham Park
Sensory Garden Progress:
Since its inception four years ago and groundbreaking in June, 2008, three quarters of an acre have been transformed into a Sensory Garden. This innovative site has been divided into six areas,
each of which corresponds to one of the five basic senses as well as a “sixth sense” of imagination. The plantings and other features in each garden “room” are closely matched to that
specific sense. In 2008, most of the infrastructure and about two thirds of the bricked walkways and garden circles were completed. In 2009, the last of 35,000 brick pavers were installed,
to the great relief of the crew. The last major installation involved the placement of water lines throughout the garden. Fournier Irrigation of East Hartford very generously contributed
all of the parts and labor for this part of the project. In May 2010 the sensory garden officially opened to the general public. MEDIA COVERAGE
WHY A SENSORY GARDEN?
“The new sensory garden will expose visitors to the value of their senses while promoting social inclusion in the best possible environment for any individual with disabilities.”
- M. Jodi Rell, Governor of the State of Connecticut
The sensory garden has become our premier garden facility, and a center of activity that allows us to serve the general public by hosting a place that will
appeal to EVERY vistor and provide them with a meaningful experience through exploration of many beautiful aspects of nature.
Our sensory garden is the largest of its kind in New England and one of the largest in the United States, spanning over three quarters of an acre.
However, as we all know bigger does not always equal better. Extensive research combined with cooperation from a variety of agencies that advocate for
persons with disabilities, and input from potential guests has led to careful integration of unique garden features that accommodates their senses and
maximizes their experience.
However, in order to realize the full potential of this facility, we need your help.
MODEL GARDEN RAILROAD
The Sensory Garden Model Railroad is now operating on Sundays from 1-3pm! For more information or to inquire about volunteer opportunities, contact Chuck Oakes, Designer, Engineer, and Volunteer Coordinator at 860-644-1128.
HOW CAN I HELP?
“The greatest desire is to contribute, so having an accessible place with a listening group willing to accept the contribution of people, adults and children with disabilities is really the greatest gift that's going to keep giving and giving throughout the years.”
- George Ducharme. Institute of Disability and Community Inclusion, Manchester Community College
Your tax-deductible donation to Wickham Park will help ensure this project succeeds and is given the best possible amenities to support
individuals with disabilities.
OPPORTUNITIES TO GIVE AND HELP: We hope you will consider joining our efforts to develop this exciting educational garden facility as a volunteer.
To fulfill our expectations for this garden, we are seeking agencies and individuals who are interested in outdoor education,
accessibility and inclusion issues, assistive technology, therapeutic gardening, or enrichment for persons with disabilities. There are a number
of specific components that might interest you which will be part of the garden design and are currently underfunded.
Additional electrical hookups.
Sculptures, interactive displays
A well to save on irrigation
General financial support:
"Buy a brick",-a commemorative brick paver will be engraved for a small fee.
Sponsor a “Talk Tower”, an assistive technological device to aid individuals with vision and hearing limitations. Thus far two of the seven units have been sponsored and
will have signage acknowledging their donors.
"Buy a Bench", a number of benches, several of which have already been donated, will be placed throughout the Sensory Garden with signage commemorating the donor.