Children's Rainforest Garden

Illustration of the proposed Selby Children's Rainforest

CComing soon to Selby Gardens – an extraordinary new interactive garden for children of all ages. The Children’s Rainforest Garden is a major paradigm shift for the Gardens, moving away from being simply a “pretty face” into using its unparalleled collection and beautiful horticultural display to promote conservation of the world’s dwindling rainforests. This new elevated garden will take guests up towards the canopy of Selby Gardens’ magnificent banyan trees to provide a unique perspective from within the trees…a way to experience the power and magic of the rainforest without having to travel there.

The Children’s Rainforest Garden will inspire, empower, and impassion current and future leaders and voters to become stewards of our magnificent and imperiled rainforests.

Ann Logan
Chief Development Officer
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Phone: (941) 366-5731, Extension 266

The Banyan Tree is the centerpiece of the Children’s Rainforest Garden. Under this magnificent tree’s branches, a shaded deck provides a place for parents to sit and socialize or to depart with their family for adventures in the rainforest. Restricting visitors to a single entry/exit assures parents that no child can enter or exit the Children’s Rainforest Garden without parental supervision. Children may freely explore, play, come and go within the garden at their own rhythm.

The Waterfall cascades down a rock face covered with lush plantings, adding the splash and gurgle of rushing water to the rainforest soundscape and creating a delicate mist that enhances the rainforest ambience.

The Forest Pool is located just beside the entry plaza. The stream flowing from the waterfall continuously refreshes this shallow body of water, a cool place to contemplate the majesty of the rainforest environment.

The Canopy Walk and Rope Bridge are a place of (safe) risks that engage the body and mind in exploring the upper layers of the rainforest. This is a place to feel the wind and enjoy expansive vistas of the gardens beyond.

The Research Station is a key learning center. The thatched roof hut provides materials and interactive elements to explore and examine plants as do field botanists. Here, explorers will observe and record life above the forest floor using binoculars, telescopes, gauges, and other equipment.

The Tree House is accessed via a safe, multi-level climbing structure that will provide fun exercise, a place to hide and play and, ultimately, entice children to clamber upward – to “climb like a vine” - to a lofty 35’ perch from whence they can enjoy a view of the entire Children’s Rainforest Garden, the Great Lawn, and other gardens beyond.

Fern Canyon is a world of lush plantings and hidden treasures. Plants and rocks frame a winding corridor, immersing guests in the infinite richness of the rainforest environment. Children will enjoy hiding and playing in the caves, and visitors will be enchanted by new surprises at every turn.

The Amazon Village is built along the edge of the rainforest. It includes the Village Shelter and the Huts, three individual, circular structures with conical, thatch roofs. Each will host a different exhibit that expands guests’ knowledge and deepens their curiosity about life in a tropical rainforest.

The Adventure Trail occupies the edge between the Amazon Village and the Rainforest. At ground level along a winding path with a climbing sculpture at the entryway, the Adventure Trail offers hidden niches under the elevated decks. These are the most secret places to be found, where vines and roots are woven into a primal architecture.

If you would like further information regarding the Children’s Rainforest at Selby Gardens, or you would like to contribute in this amazing mission, please contact us.

Ann Logan
Chief Development Officer
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Phone: (941) 366-5731, Extension 266

If you would like to learn how you can help Selby Gardens bring this exicitng new project to fruition, please contact:

Ann Logan
Chief Development Officer
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Phone: (941) 366-5731, Extension 266

Coming soon: a new updated preview of the Children's Rainforest Garden.

If you would like to learn how you can help Selby Gardens bring this exciting new project to fruition, please contact:

Ann Logan
Chief Development Officer
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Phone: (941) 366-5731, Extension 266