The Nielson Children’s Garden ~ Then and Now Video Series

The Gertrude B. Nielsen Children’s Garden is an outdoor classroom where children let their imagination run wild. This garden is the perfect place to learn about science and nature with its many unique features. Children can explore the tree house, zip down the slide, get lost in the vine maze, discover koi fish in the re-circulating pond, tell time from the giant sundial, learn about composting and vegetable gardening, and even water topiaries in the Wetting Zoo. The Children’s Garden was designed by Dennis Buettner and constructed in 1997.

The Stumpf Hobbit House is a three-season restroom and water station facility that offers visitors an escape to a fantasy world. Its architecture is both whimsical with an arched entry, grass-covered roof, and rustic upper deck as well as functional and sustainable with a multi-level drinking fountain, energy efficient features, and placement in a hillside.

The Hobbit House is located just past the Nielsen Children’s Garden and its unique arrangement of plants peak during the summer. It was donated by Les and Dar Stumpf and family of Susan DeGreef and constructed in 2012. Whimsical murals by Peter Koury were painted in each restroom in 2020.

The rustic bridge leading to the Children’s Garden was donated by area philanthropist Betty Rose Meyer in honor of Robert T. Meyer. The Frog Bridge and Children’s Pond was a gift from Gail Fischer, past Board president, in memory of her son, Gregory B. Boulanger.

Other donors for the Children’s Garden include the Frank and Patricia Wood families, Ruth and David Jahn, Carol Bush, Les and Dar Stumpf, Joan Eunice Michelseon, and Primum Bonum Inc.

For more information or updates on our Children’s Garden Expansion Project, Please Click Here.