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Constitution Gardens Reopens on Saturday (PHOTO)

constitution_gardens_005The City of Gaithersburg will officially mark the grand reopening of the newly redesigned Constitution Gardens with a ribbon cutting ceremony, music and activities on Saturday, September 19th from 10 a.m. to noon.

Located at the intersection of Brookes and Park Avenues in Olde Towne, the municipal park has been completely transformed into a nature play space.

At the grand opening visitors can enjoy live music and family-friendly activities while exploring the park’s unique play spaces, learning about Gaithersburg’s rich history and native plants, and connecting with nature. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. with contemporary music by American Idol finalist Travis Tucker in the Gazebo, followed by a ceremonial ribbon cutting and remarks at 10:30. Games, storytelling in the Lost Library, hula hooping on the lawn, and music continue until noon. During the grand opening, visitors can also provide suggestions for the names of the park’s hand-carved wooden cow, pig and sheep.

Constitution Gardens’ two designers, Natural Resources Design Inc. and Earlyspace LLC, and contractor J&G Landscape Design, known collectively as the Seneca Creek Collaborative, will have representatives on hand to answer questions and provide educational materials.

The redesigned park celebrates the past, present and future of Gaithersburg, weaving together threads of sustainability with elements inspired by the cultural, economic and natural history of the area.
Upon entering Constitution Gardens, visitors will immediately notice the emphasis on nature, with a peony garden, an herb spiral and swinging wooden benches.

The Lost Library, a story circle featuring log benches, an over-sized storyteller’s chair, and a lending library box, harkens back to when the Gaithersburg Library was located on this site into the early 1980s.

Next to the Lost Library is the “Bird’s Nest,” a jumble of log posts for climbing and pretending. Bird’s Nest Hill is also home to the garden’s insect hotel. And just down from the Bird’s Nest is Sliding Hill, featuring a stump scramble, embankment slides and stepping stones.

The Log Town area of the park (the original name of the Gaithersburg community in the mid-1700s) includes natural climbing elements, a sand play area, log playhouses and tables, stump stools, log flumes, a sensory garden, and log farm animals reminiscent of the City’s agricultural past. This area of the park is fenced-in and has stroller parking, making it perfect for younger visitors.

Great Seneca Creek, the area towards the back of the park, features picnic tables, a giant, sculptural fallen tree for climbing, and a dry creek with a hand pump. The creek bed is lined with leaves stamped into the concrete and decorative pebbles that sparkle as the water runs over them.

Native plants are showcased throughout the entire park, from dedicated pollinator gardens to hilltop oaks that honor the memory of Gaithersburg’s lost Forest Oak tree, the inspiration for the City’s logo.
Parking for the grand reopening event is available at Gaithersburg Elementary School, just one block from the Park. Accessible parking will be reserved in front of the park for those with disability placards or plates only. After September 19 the park will be open daily from dawn to dusk.

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