MSUToday
Published: July 14, 2011

MSU to host youth garden symposium

Contact(s): Erica Shekell Office of Communications and Brand Strategy erica.shekell@cabs.msu.edu

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University will host the 19th annual National Children and Youth Garden Symposium July 21-23.

The conference, which is sponsored by the American Horticultural Society, includes a number of keynote speakers and about 50 educational lectures, workshops and learning stations.

The educational sessions include:

  • "From Schoolyard to Backyard"
  • "Helpful Hints from Horticultural Therapy"
  • "Green Corps: Sustainable Youth and Urban Agriculture"
  • "Digging Into Worm Composting"
  • "Butterfly Gardening Using Native Plants"


The sessions will take place at several locations on campus, including the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden, which was dedicated in 1993 and was the first interactive, public outdoor garden for children in the U.S.

About 400 educators are expected to attend, said Norm Lownds, curator of the garden. This will be the second time that MSU has hosted the conference.

A pre-symposium with a smaller group will take place July 20, in which attendees may learn about the technologies that have been incorporated into the garden's interactive science education programs. These attendees may also do some of the same experiments that children do when visiting the garden on field trips.

The full registration fee for the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium is $350. American Horticultural Society members receive a discounted rate of $310. Daily registrations and student rates are also available.

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Norm Lownds, curator of the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden, talks about the different types of interactivity that happen in the garden.

Norm Lownds, curator of the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden, talks about the different types of interactivity that happen in the garden.

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