Camp will cultivate budding gardeners

Kids' nature-related activities: building bird houses, potting plants, arranging flowers

Published June 2, 2006

Young green thumbs in training will study plant life and nature at this year's Kids Kamp at the Tampa Garden Club.

Starting Monday through June 9, elementary school children will participate in nature-related crafts, create bird houses, pot plants and design floral arrangements. The camp will culminate with a flower show at the end of the week.

"It gives them a hands-on opportunity that they can bring home to share with their families," said camp director Kathy Echevarria.

The camp is held each year as part of National Garden Week.

Each four-hour day will have a different garden theme, ranging from bird identification to butterfly development and species habitat.

As part of the bird watching and identification class, a specialist will bring in an owl that's specific to South Tampa.

"Part of our thrust is to promote urban habitat," Echevarria said, referring to the need for children to learn how to protect the homes of wild animals that reside in the city.

"There's a real good reason to preserve it because it increases our quality of life. To have a life that we share with birds, creatures of some kind, is a more friendly environment for us," Echevarria said.

This is the fourth year the Tampa Garden Club has hosted the camp and the third year it has received a grant from the Mayor's Beautification Program.

An open house on Thursday will feature artwork from students and local nature artists. Tampa Garden Club members, volunteers and high school students seeking service hours will staff the camp.

Registration is $35 for the week and includes materials and a daily snack. Up to 20 kids may participate. Registration will be open until Monday. To enroll, call 251-5059.