Posts Tagged ‘PAZ’

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone: The Labyrinth

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone: The Labyrinth

Our Plant Adventures programs focus on the significance of the interaction between people and their plants and gardens. In the month of April, the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone features a classical seven-circuit labyrinth laid out in stone on the grass ring. Plant Adventures Coordinator Jennifer Sanders explains the details: 
Many people report that spending time in a garden nourishes their spirit. A popular feature in both public and private gardens, labyrinths have been used for centuries as a space for walking contemplation. 
If you’ve never walked one before, fear not. You can’t get lost. From the entrance of the labyrinth, follow the path to the center. Once there, pause as long as you like for silence, reflection or prayer before returning along the same path to exit.
Our Plant Adventures labyrinth will remain in place until the end of April. We intend to make this an annual event, trying different labyrinth patterns in the future. And while our current labyrinth cannot be traveled in a wheelchair, we have plans in the works for a collaborative effort to establish a permanent labyrinth in the community that will be wheelchair accessible. 
Directions: The Arrington Plant Adventure Zone can be reached by walking down the education hallway in the Garden Center and exiting through the double doors. It is open to the public during Garden Center hours. 

If you’d like to be notified of future labyrinth plans or have questions or comments, please contact me at or leave me a note in the comment jar in the Plant Adventure Zone. 

PHOTOS: Arrington Plant Adventure Zone Ribbon-Cutting

Monday, April 30th, 2012

(Director James Horton, Mayor William Bell, Sr., former Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., former Mayor Bernard Kincaid, Executive Director Fred Spicer)

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone Ribbon Cutting

On Thursday, April 26, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens gathered with local dignitaries for the ribbon-cutting of the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone. The newest garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is an inclusive space that will serve all of the Birmingham community, but will be a new center for Plant Adventures. The garden’s namesake, Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr., joined current Mayor William Bell and former Mayor Bernard Kincaid at the celebration. Birmingham Parks and Recreation Commissioner Larry Cockrell delivered the invocation before District 3 Councilor Valerie Abbott, Plant Adventures Coordinator Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director Fred Spicer and each Birmingham mayor addressed the crowd. Light refreshments were served following the ceremony in the Hodges Room and the Rushton Garden.

(Andrew Krebbs, Tricia Noble, James Horton)

(Larry Cockrell, Richard Arrington, Jr., Fred Spicer)

(Valerie Abbott, Larry Cockrell, Martha Espy)

(Fred Spicer, Richard Arrington, Jr., Valerie Abbott)

(Henry Ray, Tricia Noble, Lou Willie)

(Birmingham Parks and Recreation Commissioner Larry Cockrell, former Mayor Bernard Kincaid, District 3 Councilor Valerie Abbott, former Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., Mayor William Bell, Sr., Plant Adventures Coordinator Jennifer Sanders, Executive Director Fred Spicer)

Part II: Plant Adventures Plans for an Exciting Future

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

As we count down to the ribbon cutting for the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone in April, Plant Adventures Coordinator Jennifer Sanders offers the second installment in an occasional series.

More than once lately, I’ve been caught walking around the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens without my boots on. It’s earned me a raised eyebrow from one or two of the circulation desk volunteers. “Aren’t you missing something?” asked one ever-vigilant, ever-diligent soul. And senior librarian Elizabeth Drewery once had a compliment for me. “What lovely socks,” she said (compliments sound even better with an English accent).

The boots in question were parked outside, a few feet from where my office is tucked just inside the library’s back door. I’ve learned to wear the boots every day — after the first time I retrieved something from my supply closet in the construction zone (a.k.a the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone) and came back up to my ankles in red mud. Occasionally, I’ve had to shed them at the door to avoid decorating the library carpet with muddy footprints.

It’s been worth it though. For I’ve had the privilege to watch how the workers have taken a mud pit and created an incredible garden. While they’ve been laying drainage pipes and pouring cement and gingerly transporting trees and shrubs, we’ve undertaken a parallel challenge — building a program consistent with the vision embodied in the new garden.

The concept of universal design governs the construction process in the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone. It’s the notion that you can create a space that works for everybody. The most oft-cited example is curb cuts in sidewalks. The same curb cut that works for a person using a wheelchair or a rolling walker also works for the parent pushing a stroller, the airport-bound executive pulling a wheeled suitcase, or the child riding a bicycle.

The Arrington Plant Adventure Zone will be the first (but not the last) space at The Gardens built according to the principles of universal design. With Plant Adventures, we aim to put those principles in practice in our programs as well. We want everyone to find a place to participate.

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone Breaks Ground

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Pictured, L to R: Fred Spicer (Executive Director, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens), Melvin Miller (Director, Birmingham Park and Recreation Board), Councilor Valerie Abbott (City of Birmingham, District 3), Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., Mayor Bernard Kincaid, Chuck Fausch (Mayor’s Chief of Staff), Henry B. Ray, Jr. (President, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Board)

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone Groundbreaking

On September 9, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone, the new home for its Horticultural Therapy program. Former Mayors Richard Arrington, Jr. and Bernard Kincaid joined other Birmingham dignitaries before an invited crowd of more than 60 people. Refreshments were served to those in attendace at a reception following the ceremony. With expected completion in the Spring of 2012, the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone will serve as the new home for Alabama’s first Horticultural Therapy program.

Mayors Richard Arrington and Bernard Kincaid welcome guests to the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone


Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Executive Director Fred Spicer begins the ceremony

Birmingham Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Larry D. Cockrell offers the invocation

Councilor Valerie Abbott (City of Birmingham, District 3) offers remarks on the proud attractions of her district

Mayor Bernard Kincaid addresses the crowd

Mayor Richard Arrington addresses the crowd

Joey Sheehan of Grayson Restoration and Joel Eliason of Nimrod, Long & Associates

Fred Spicer reviews the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone blueprint with Mayor Arrington at the reception

Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr. and Mayor Bernard Kincaid

Fred Spicer and Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr.

Alleen Cater, Elna Brendel, Winyss Shepard, Helen Mills, Lucy Thompson

Melvin Miller, Kevin Arrington, Justin Arrington

Stanley Robinson, Tommy and Yates Amason

Bernard Kincaid and Larry Cockrell

Arrington Plant Adventure Zone Groundbreaking Set for September 9

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The Gardens Welcome Richard Arrington and William Bell

Former and Current Mayor to break ground on Plant Adventure Zone

BIRMINGHAM, AL –  Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomes former mayor Richard Arrington and current mayor William Bell to the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone’s official groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, September 9 at 1 p.m. The Gardens will welcome the Board of Directors, The Gardens’ staff, community partners and volunteers to this exclusive event.

With targeted completion set for the Spring of 2012, the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone will serve the Birmingham community as a garden for therapeutic horticulture and wellness – a broad concept The Gardens hopes to redefine through its Horticultural Therapy Program.

The Gardens’ Horticultural Therapy program was the first of its kind in the state of Alabama. As this program continues to grow, it strives to move from a medical model and toward a holistic and inclusive view of human participation in the horticulture world. Medical research continues to point to the benefits of people-plant interactions. One of The Gardens’ roles is to facilitate such interaction in this unique, urban plant space and in outreach to the community.

About Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is Alabama’s largest living museum with more than 10,000 different plants in its living collections. The Gardens’ 67.5 acres contains more than 25 unique gardens, 30+ works of original outdoor sculpture and miles of serene paths. The Gardens features the largest public horticulture library in the U.S., conservatories, a wildflower garden, two rose gardens, the Southern Living garden, and Japanese Gardens with a traditionally crafted tea house. Education programs run year round and more than 10,000 school children enjoy free science-curriculum based field trips annually. The Gardens is open daily, offering free admission to more than 350,000 yearly visitors.