On September 14, 2019, the Patron Gala Rick’s Café Américain was held at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. This fabulous soiree successfully raised much needed funds to enhance the two acre “King Palm Forest” by creating a Children’s Wildlife Pond. As part of this project to embellish wildlife habitat and provide a teaching platform, a waterfall was built. It is an exciting addition to this tranquil paradise, complete with overstory and understory plantings; a pair of horned owls high in the palm trees keep watch over the garden all through the night.
The waterfall plays two roles in this new aquatic composition consisting of a pond with a mirror-like surface and falling water cascading down a hillside. The waterfall creates a soothing sound as water cascades down the rocky hillside making its way home to the sea. It creates a mood with its melody that beckons one back to a more tropical, rainier climate. Like the wildlife pond, it provides drinking water for wild creatures of all types, including 150 different bird species, bats, a family of bandit-eyed raccoons, possums, skunks, and even the red fox family. The ubiquitous coyote admires his reflection in the pond each late afternoon as he gets a drink on his way off to his hunting grounds.
The second function is tied to the location of the waterfall which is about 30 feet higher in elevation than the pond. This makes a strong visual connection and supports the idea that the waterfall is the source and headwaters to the pond, supplying it with a plentiful amount of fresh water.
The photo below shows the “two-tiered stone seating area” (distant shore with flat top boulders) for the children to sit on while the docent stands on a large rock at the edge of the pond, facing the elementary school children. There are now approximately 2,000 children every year that visit the Virginia Robinson Gardens for a guided docent-led tour. The tour is tailored to correspond with the third grade science curriculum. It augments science concepts developed first in the classroom which are then reinforced while visiting the outdoor classroom that Robinson Gardens provides.
We are grateful for the generous support of our “Gala Pledge Donors” who made this magical space possible that will now and forever delight and enrich visitors, young and old alike!
Post and Photos by Superintendent Timothy Lindsay
Virginia Robinson Gardens