Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Mother’s Day at the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

kids nature botanic garden kruckeberg green
Trillium and Maidenhair Fern

This site is focused on getting kids out into nature.  But the reality is, Mom needs to get out into nature, too.  I started hiking with my kids when they were babies because I needed, to the depth of my being, time in the wilderness.  With the busy pace of life, social demands for the entire family, and technology intruding at every turn, I need nature more than ever.  Thus, a great Mother’s Day activity for me is something outside with my family.

kids nature gardening botanic garden kruckeberg
Gabe with Nasturtium he planted

That’s how we ended up at the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline this afternoon for their Mother’s Day Open House and Plant Sale.

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Some of the Many Plants for Sale

I  have never been to this garden – but now I wonder why it took me so long to get there!  Arthur Kruckeberg was a professor of Botany at the University of Washington.  His wife Mareen was also a passionate plantswoman, and together they transformed their four-acre farm plot into a collection of native and rare exotic plants.  Mareen was known for propagation and cultivation, and began a nursery in her garden to sell her plants.

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Hypertufa Trough with Lewisia

Mareen Kruckeberg died in 2003, but Dr. Art Kruckeberg still lives in the house on the property.  The garden is now managed in partnership between the City of Shoreline and the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to preserving and maintaining the Kruckebergs’ legacy.

kruckeberg botanic garden shoreline kids nature native plants
Shaggy Bark

We were fortunate to time our visit to include a free tour of the garden, where we learned a lot about many different specimens.  The kids were able to participate in some activities just for them, too.

kruckeberg botanic garden shoreline native plants kids nature
Annika Decorating her Newspaper Pot

We spent some time just sitting and enjoying the peaceful, warm weather, the bird song, and the dappled shade of the meadow area.  I found it a calming place to spend the afternoon, and was happy that there was something there for my whole family.  We bought a few plants to bring home, as well.

kruckeberg botanic garden shoreline kids in nature
Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Entrance

There are a wide variety of events throughout the year for adults and children.  Garden Tots is a drop-in program for ages 2-7 on Fridays throughout the summer.  Details can be found on their website.

kids nature activities kruckeberg botanic garden
Gabe Making Sachet

There are also preschool garden events and a preschool Fairy Garden Camp.  The garden is open to the public during the spring and summer on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm.

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Checkered Lily

Paths wander through the mature trees and shrubs, past blooming wildflowers and native plants.  There is something new and interesting to see in every corner.

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Bird Nest

The property is large enough to feel secluded from the neighborhood, but small enough that young children will not be overwhelmed with the distances they need to walk.  Restrooms are available on site.

kruckeberg botanic garden kids in nature gardening native plants
Pink Honeysuckle

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