The vision of creating a botanical garden in the city of Bowling Green seems to blossom more each day at
Simpson Garden Park, where the grand opening of a new Sensory Garden will be held on Sunday.
Located on the west side of the Simpson Garden Park Building, the brick-enclosed Sensory Garden will be
dedicated during ceremonies from 2 to 3:30 p.m.
The public is invited to attend the celebration, which is sponsored by the Bowling Green Parks and
Recreation Foundation and Vitakraft Sun Seed of Northwest Ohio.
More than two-dozen individuals and private organizations have contributed a total of approximately
$100,000 to create a space designed to stimulate four of the five senses: sight, sound, smell and touch.
"When you visit, you will first see dazzling colors, including two color walls of annuals. There is
also a scratch-and-sniff bed, where you can smell the plants and touch various textures – rough, smooth
and fuzzy plants," said Dr. Michelle Grigore, director of the Bowling Green City Parks and
The sounds you’ll hear will range from a running waterfall to the
rustling of tall grasses in the wind. Plantings attractive to song birds and humming bees will help add
to the natural symphony.
Grigore is particularly pleased that the Sensory Garden is designed to be accessible for all people,
regardless of limited ability.
"The garden is wheelchair accessible and (accessible) to those with disabilities. We hope that many
senior citizens and others with limited mobility will come and enjoy this space," she said.
"We are only just beginning to learn the importance of horticulture therapy and the role of being in
touch with nature has on well-being," Grigore continued.
"There is a restorative value to gardens. People may not be able to have a garden where they live,
but they can come here to the Sensory Garden and experience the fragrance of the flowers, and the sounds
of the waterfall. It’s a simple concept, but truly powerful," she said.
Major donors to the project include the families of Robert and Pat Mauer, who contributed to the garden
in memory of Martha Carter; Huntington Bank/Huntington Insurance and Jim and Margarita Lessig, who
contributed funds for construction of the brick walls and raised brick beds; and Jeff and Lee Anne
Snook, who funded construction of the waterfall and a seating area.
Other major donors include: Principal Business Enterprises, Chuck and Carol Stocking, Cliff and Lynn
Long, Tom and Ann Stubbs, Dr. Marjorie Conrad Peatee, Tom Bennett, Chris and Ellen Dalton, and
Pisanello’s Pizza of Northwest Ohio.
Local master gardeners and other volunteers have adopted portions of the new garden and are responsible
for growing and maintaining the plants.
Simpson Garden Park is located at 1291 Conneaut Ave., at the corner of Conneaut and North Wintergarden
Road. Admission is free.
Overflow parking on the day of the grand opening of the Sensory Garden will be available in the Wood
County Hospital parking lot off Conneaut Avenue.