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Michigan State University's 4-H Children's Garden

Updated on November 18, 2012

Michigan's Agricultural College

I recently took a trip to visit my Alma mater. The reason for my visit to Michigan State University was to bring my children to the children's garden that they have. Michigan State University was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of Michigan. Over the years the school has gone through several name changes but on January 1,1964 it's name officially changed to Michigan State University.

Michigan State University is well known for the development of leading technology to improve plant growth world wide. They are working with third world countries to help develop plants that will be able to grow in poor growing soil and climate conditions, they are working with farmers to create more natural ways of monitor and controlling pests and plant diseases, and much more. It would only be natural that they would host the 4-H Children's Garden. In 1993 the Children's Garden was created and dedicated.

Getting There

The gardens are located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing. Although it has no exact address, you can find the gardens on the southwest part of campus. If you take Haggadorn Road South and turn west onto Service Drive on campus you will follow that until your reach Bogue Street. You will head north on Bogue and then turn west onto Trowbridge Road. You will find a metered parking lot on the south side of Trowbridge. The entrance is easy to miss so keep your eyes alert. You have to buy tokens for the meters but there is a token machine at the front of the lot.

The Treehouse.
The Treehouse.

Welcome to the Children's Garden

When you first reach the garden, you are greeted by a beautiful, colorful metal archway with very childlike metal art. It is quite inviting and my children dashed through the arch to the sitting area to the left. They were enchanted with the statues and little places to climb. There was even a little stone table and chairs. They excitedly invited the statues to join them for a little snack.

Soon they were off to climb the treehouse. Although it is not actually in a tree, you climb a ramp and you will see an overview of the gardens. You can exit the treehouse by the ramp or walk down the descending stairs made of logs. As you proceed toward the back of the gardens, you will encounter a pond filled with lily pads, frogs, and adorned with a replica of Monet's bridge.

Ground Chimes


As you head toward the back of the gardens, there is a small area in which to play. There are some ground chimes that play music as you jump on them. This was a great delight for my children. Also included in this area is a small climbing structure as well as a train. The idea is to have as much fun as possible and every kid in the garden was achieving this goal!

The Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden

As you move away from the playground area, you encounter a gate. Entering into this gate leads you to the secret garden. This section of the gardens is a tribute to the story The Secret Garden.Complete with a statue of a girl, a bench, and a gate that leads to a maze of arborvitaes, it truly exemplifies the secret garden. As long as there are not children racing through the area, it is a peaceful place to sit and relax.

Monet's Bridge

The pond area is a much smaller version of what you might find visiting Monet's home and gardens in Giverny, France. It has a little pond with frogs, water lilies, and is surrounded by rocks. The kids have a great time crossing the bridge and checking out the frogs and lily pads below.

Edible Gardens

As you approach the end of the bridge, you will see a few different kinds of gardens. One of them is a pizza garden. The border is in the shape of a pizza with a slice cut out of it. Planted inside of the garden are many things that you would find on a pizza; tomatoes, onions, peppers, and more. Next to that is a Peter Rabbit garden. Again a tribute to another story, Peter Rabbit. This garden holds many herbs and leaves that can be used for teas. Creating an edible garden is a fantastic way to get children involved in gardening as well as helping them to see how nature provides for people.

Additional Information

The children's garden is located right next to the other horticultural gardens. We took a walk through the perennial gardens and the rose gardens. The rose gardens were just starting to bloom and I can only imagine the beauty that they hold once they are in full bloom. There is also another pond area where people can enjoy the serenity and beauty of the lily pads adorns with gorgeous lilies and bright green frogs. My children, along with several others that were visiting, had a blast letting the tiny tadpoles swim into their hands. If you are in the area, it truly is a place not to be missed.


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    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Michigan

      Glad to hear it Patty. I'm an MSU grad so I definitely love visiting the area. It was not in full bloom when we went in May last year. We may take another visit in the summer this coming year. Hope you enjoy it!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I'll be sure to visit this place next time I go to East Lansing and Lansing. I really love it there. Thanks!

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      MSU is well known for its agriculture department. I'm not sure where you are from but if you ever get out that way, it's a great place to visit, of course I am biased! :) Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Joe Macho profile image


      9 years ago from Colorado

      I've always heard that the Agricultural department at Michigan is top notch. Since I've never been up that way, its great to finally get a glimpse. It's really good to see that they bring in the community with the children's garden. Thanks for the hub.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for reading and commenting Saif113sb. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • saif113sb profile image


      9 years ago

      Good work and great information hub. lovely picture. thanks

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Yes it was Aunt Dee that taught him that great word that day! Thanks Aunt Danette for the read and votes! :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      No my sister, he picked up that bad word from his AUNTIE that day! LOL

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      9 years ago from Illinois

      I wondered if this was that garden we went to when "little" Sam was with us - except he ain't so little any more! Enjoyed reading it, brought back a couple memories (wasn't that the time he picked up a bad word from his bad mommy?) LOL! You take create photos Cara. Voted up and beautiful and awesome

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Mom, I can always count on you for some great feedback! Glad you enjoyed it and it brought back those same memories for me too. Instead of little Sam in the backseat this time I had little Alex! :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Cara-thoroughly enjoyed this hub...brought a smile to my face as I recalled the last time we were there and little Sam, LOL. Well written-voted it up and across. Had to hit 'funny' b/c the little rascal refused to answer you when she was playing the ground chimes. I had forgotten about those! Actually, forgot about much of the things in there and that was why it was so delightful. I loved how your Monet Garden linked back to your hub about France and Giverney. Great job and wonderful photos.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for taking the journey with us! I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. I had so many that it was hard to choose. Glad you stopped by.

    • drkathleenfuller profile image


      9 years ago from 322 SW Ocean Blvd, Stuart, Florida 34994

      Thank you for writing this image rich journey. I felt like I was sharing all the enchanting gardens with you.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Michigan

      It does bring back happy memories and it was great to share them with my kids. Thanks for reading and commenting Sailor!

    • thesailor profile image


      9 years ago from Seven Seas

      What an awesome recollection about your Alma Mater. It brings back lots of happy memories.

      Loved the photos, too! And the Pizza Garden, I mean the Edible Garden!!!


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