The Annual Children’s Science Fair at Virginia Robinson Gardens on April 22nd

Virginia and Harry Robinson did not have children of their own but doted on nephew Ted and a niece, Helen. Virginia was very philanthropic, and one of the charities she devoted much time to was the Orphanage Guild. Through that organization, she realized how many children were not so fortunate to have an aunt Gigi who lived on a fabulous estate.

Virginia started an admirable tradition of inviting children from group homes to Robinson Gardens for a Holiday party. The Friends of Robinson Gardens has for many years kept up this tradition and continues to do so with just a little change. We realized that many charities entertained the children around the holidays, and then less frequently during the rest of the year. Thus, the Science Fair was born and what better time to come to a beautiful garden and learn about plants and the environment than on Earth Day. This April 22nd, we are now celebrating our third Science Fair with approximately 100 children who are invited to spend a wondrous day at Virginia Robinson Gardens.

The children start their day with a tour of the gardens led by our children’s docents. They learn about the history of the Robinsons, as well as see artifacts and artworks collected by the Robinsons from all over the world. In the Italian Terrace Garden, while sipping lemonade, they learn about the Mediterranean climate, which is dry and sunny, and, therefore, perfect for growing citrus fruit.

The King Palm Forest is much different, as it has 80 foot Australian King Palm trees that shade the garden, thus making it cooler. A fun surprise awaits the children by one of the many fountains on the estate, as a magician is there to entertain them.

In the Kitchen Garden, we explain how food affects their health, and we motivate the children to eat healthier foods. They get to eat just-picked lettuce, dipped in ranch dressing. Many children are so surprised at how good the fresh greens taste.

Now, it is time to head to the Pool Pavilion where another surprise awaits them. There are tables full of posters, generously donated by the movie studios. The children get to pick their favorite to take home. In the Pool Pavilion, they also see pictures of the Robinsons and what they and the estate looked like 100 years ago.

After all the walking and learning, we now guide the hungry children to the tennis court where a wonderful lunch, cooked by the Taco Guy, is served by the Friends’ volunteers.

And finally, to top off a fabulous day, the children are entertained by watching The Mad Science Show – Up, Up, and Away.

Each child will leave with a gift bag filled with goodies, donated by the Friends. We also hope that they leave with a better understanding of what the Virginia Robinson Gardens, as well as other gardens offer: history, conservation, botany, ecology, beauty, peace and serenity.

It is with the support and generosity of the Friends that we can make this day so special for the many children who are less fortunate, and leave them with the memories of the beauty and wonders of the Virginia Robinson Gardens.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lynda at 310-550-2068 or [email protected]

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Lynda at 310-550-2068 or [email protected]

Post by Kerstin Royce
Friends of Robinson Gardens member

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