Gecko Hardware
A journey through the Garden

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

© John B. Sutton Jr.

The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden is now open for anyone and everyone who wants their mind blown…in a good way of course.

This 8-acre interactive garden is designed specifically to address state and national education standards in life, earth and environmental sciences.

Children and adults can venture through 17 indoor and outdoor galleries highlighting K-6th grade curriculum standards, including fun ways to learn about photosynthesis, pollination, the solar system, erosion and more.

Lake Highlands Today teamed up this week with John B. Sutton Jr., owner of Fueling Depth Photography, and took a journey through the new garden.

As we walked though this museum without walls, the kid inside of me came out of its shell. And as we looked around and observed the crowd that was there, it was apparent that inner-children were being awakened throughout the garden.

The first people we ran into were Jacob and his grandmother. Jacob was out of school for the day and came to town to visit. He was having the time of his life!

"It’s awesome! The treetop is my favorite part because you can see everything."

There are more than 150 interactive exhibits within the galleries, and each is unique and specific to curriculum that Texas students need to learn for the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills).

As we walked into the Earth Cycles Gallery, we met a lovely volunteer named Penny Richey. Penny is a recently retired Biology teacher and was excited to be volunteering.

"Beginning in mid-October, school groups will start to visit the garden," she told us. "Teachers have actually been hired to work with the groups so that they’ll get the best experience possible with each gallery and learning module."

Next we visited the Exploration Center and took in the magnificence of the Omni Globe that resides within.

We were thrilled to learn that there are only 50 of these Omni Globes in the world, five of them being in Texas. The Children’s Garden globe is the only one that is available to the public.

Bettie Vandivort, a retired educator and garden volunteer, demonstrated it for us.

She and Sheri Zada, another amazing volunteer, filled us in on their favorite part of the garden.

"We’ve been in education for years, and we just love to see the kids and their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and whoever is here with them, enjoy this together," Sheri said.

"It’s a joy to see the phones put away and witness the learning and bonding that happens here."

Honestly we could have spent all day there, and that was without kids in tow! With every gallery we explored, I kept thinking about which one of my kids would enjoy it most and why.

As we were heading out, we were lucky enough to run into the garden’s Operations Manager, Melissa Wright. Many know her as the creator of The Lab at Lakewood.

The Arboretum made a stellar choice when they hired Melissa. Her hands-on approach to operations is exactly what makes this new garden stand out from anything else we’ve seen.

"We spend too much time telling our kids ‘Don’t touch!’ when they really just want to touch and play," Melissa told us.

"And why shouldn’t they touch? Every child is yearning to learn in their own way. The garden is completely hands on and experiential for all ages – even adults!"

We had to find out what Melissa’s favorite part of the garden was, because we didn’t want to leave without missing anything.

"I’m a physics, math and art nerd so I especially love T. Boone Pickens Pure Energy and Kaleidoscope."

Haven’t been to the garden yet? It’s a MUST SEE! And they're still in need of volunteers, so if you have spare time and want to let your inner-child break free, sign up today.



To see more of John B. Sutton, Jr’s work, visit the Fueling Depth website by clicking here. To view the entire gallery of garden images, click here.

The Dallas Arboretum is located at 8557 Garland Road.

More information on the gardens can be found on the Arboretum website.

Timed tickets, which are required for admittance to the Children's Garden, will be available to purchase online closer to the opening.

To volunteer or for more information, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call the volunteer office at 214.515.6561.



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