CHEYENNE, WYO., May 29, 2008 – The Qwest Foundation today committed to “growing” a love for science among children and donated $5,000 to the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. The grant will allow the Botanic Gardens to purchase technology equipment for a science discovery lab that will be a part of the new Children’s Garden.
While the science discovery lab is still in development, the concept is already planting seeds of excitement in the community. Once built, children will study ecosystems, grow crops and model renewable energy in a hands-on environment. The science discovery lab will be open year-round to “harvest” ideas from children and students of all ages.
“The world around us is constantly moving, growing and changing, and thanks to the Qwest Foundation, children will literally get their hands dirty as they learn what makes it work,” said Shane Smith, executive director of the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.
Along with the science discovery lab, the Children’s Garden will renovate a 1930s stone complex into a three-quarter-acre garden that will feature landscape environments like wetlands and native plants. The science discovery lab will let students examine and research soil, insects and energy sources, among other things.
“It’s so important for children to study science and understand how their actions can impact the world,” said Laramie County School District Science Coordinator Mike Wallace. “This science discovery lab will give our students a place to play and learn in nature, and I appreciate the Qwest Foundation’s recognition of the value of science and technology in education.”
The Qwest Foundation’s $5,000 grant will go toward the purchase of microscopes, simple scopes and laptops for the science discovery lab, which will “sow” the significance of science in their minds.
“We congratulate the Botanic Gardens on its goal to bring the significance of science and technology to children through living environments,” said Mike Ceballos, Qwest Wyoming president. “It’s one thing to read about wetlands and ecosystems, but so much more inspiring for children to actually interact with them, and Qwest is proud to help support that excitement.”
About the Children’s Garden at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens
The Children’s Garden at the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens is the largest project undertaken by the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens in its 30-year history. A Children’s Garden was first considered for Cheyenne a decade ago, when the Gardens commissioned Colorado landscape architect Herb Schaal to work with the community on a master plan. Schaal has since been recognized with the most awards of any designers at his firm EDAW, the largest landscape architecture firm in the world. Schaal specializes in children’s gardens. His design for Cheyenne’s Children’s Garden has already received two awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
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