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Goblins and Gourds: Lewis Ginter Event Teaches Children about Nature

If you think gourds are only a fall table decoration, you’re missing out. An unusual music group, the Richmond Indigenous Gourd Orchestra (RIGO), makes instruments by hand from locally-grown gourds to produce what they call “Paleolithic lounge music.” The Orchestra will be teaming up with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at this year’s “Goblins and Gourds” event in the Children’s Garden.

Goblins and Gourds, held this year on Sunday, October 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. for regular Lewis Ginter admission, has been a tradition since 2004. Lewis Ginter wants the event to inspire children to think creatively through music and craft projects, get them outside and moving and help them and their families learn about fresh and seasonal food. RIGO will bring a gourd “petting zoo” for children to experience.

Other groups providing activities for the event include RVA HoOp HOuse with a hoop tutorial, Riverside Outfitters for a tree-climbing demonstration and Edible Education, an organization that provides hands-on demonstrations for healthy living.

Lewis Ginter’s Children’s Garden Horticulturist Heather Veneziano said she hopes Edible Education can help to “connect the children and families to the natural cycles of growing food through eating seasonally, and encourage healthy eating habits through food tastings with in-season produce.”

Along with these educational activities, Lewis Ginter will also provide open-ended art opportunities involving natural materials to give children some hands-on crafts they can take home. As a Let’s Move Garden, Lewis Ginter seeks to show children the fun to be had outdoors, in motion.

“We want to engage all the senses in an outdoor setting through fun and memorable experiences,” Veneziano said. “We want to help inspire families to spend time outdoors year round and also cultivate a life-long appreciation for the natural world.”

Click here for more information on Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's Goblins and Gourds event.

Article by Lauren N. Colie, Print/Online Journalism and English major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Lauren is Managing Editor of Auctus, VCU’s Undergraduate Research Journal, as well as a Lead Teaching Assistant for a research-writing course. She recently joined the Science Matters team as a special student correspondent.

Photo credits: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden staff

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