Friday, June 22, 2012

Reason #1 to Save the WSV Sasaki Garden

The top 10 reasons to save the WSV Sasaki Garden in 10 parts.

Reason #1:

The Garden is nature in the city.  It is nearby nature for  Washington Square Village (WSV) and community kids.  Children regularly use the garden, in addition to adults.  "Direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults" argues Richard Louv in Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.  The Garden provides opportunities for more imaginative and unstructured play in contrast to formal playgrounds.  It is the backyard for so many children.  Children find bugs, watch birds, chase squirrels, track chipmunks (a chipmunk was sighted by two different people this spring), gaze at butterflies and bees, climb trees, imagine bear dens and pirate forts in the shrubs, stage performances on the concrete platforms under the dogwood and roses, run though the leaves in the fall, pretend the fallen crabapple petals are snowflakes, and more.

Formal playgrounds do serve an important role in childhood development, too.  Children develop physical agility and social skills as they navigate the various jungle gym equipment.  Luckily, the children of WSV and the community have access to both the 1.5 acre Sasaki Garden and the 1/2 acre Key Park sit on either side of what was once Greene Street.  Children can move easily between the garden and playground -- there is a ramp on the eastern side of the Garden and two short staircases.  The presence of both the garden and the playground means that different forms of play are available to children of temperaments and ages.  On a given day, a child can have different outdoor and nature experiences.

The Garden -- and its partner in play, the Key Park -- are critical elements of what makes Washington Square Village and Greenwich Village "greener and greater" communities, to borrow language from Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC.  These green, open spaces encourage people to stay here, to grow roots here; part and parcel of a livable, sustainable community and city, too.

Read reason #2 here.

Read reason #3 here.

Read reason #4 here.

Read reason #5 here.

Read reason #6 here.

Read reason #7 here.

Read reason #8 here.

Read reason #9 here.

Read reason #10 here.

1 comment:

  1. This is the best of all possible worlds!

    Thank you for sharing.