Botanic Garden plans to let people play in "My Backyard"

Officials at the Memphis Botanic Garden have big plans in the coming years for a large outdoor project.

The Botanic Garden plans to transform two acres of land into something called "My Backyard," an area consisting of tree houses, a learning center, mini-Wolf River and areas where children can be "hands on" with nature.

"There will be a toddler garden where small children can go and play," Duncan said. "There will be a vast long area that we call 'The Leaping Lawn' where children can actually be involved in free play."
For parents, "My Backyard" will provide a safe area where past meets present.  Duncan says he knows not every child has a backyard, and the project will be an opportunity for children to spend time outdoors with their children.  "The time that they spend playing by themselves or in nature is dwindling," he said.

Most Botanic Gardens in the US serve about ten thousand children a year.  Memphis does triple that number, which is why Duncan says this plan is so important.

"Perhaps we'll pick up some things that we had in our past that children in the city no longer have," he said.
The "My Backyard" plan is a year in the making, and likely several years from completion.