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Bookworm Gardens adds a little flavor to Spice of Life

Campus Life’s seniors were challenged to come up with botanic ideas for Bookworm Gardens. Elizabeth Weiland, the executive director of the gardens, brought worksheets so that the seniors could brainstorm ideas for new children’s story vignettes.

Campus Life seniors give serious thought as they design their children's-literature themed gardens during a Bookworm Gardens presentation. – Photo by Joelle Steffen

Chuck C.'s idea was that he had no ideas. But Phil V. came up with Ickle Bickle Robin, a story about a baby robin who still can’t fly. While his parents argue about how to teach him, the baby takes it upon himself to take a leap… and he flies!

Elizabeth spoke about how patrons make the gardens grow and how they can afford new attractions, which is necessary now that the gardens are drawing a crowd of more than 800 people per day. She said the initial goal for Bookworm Gardens was 50 people per day, so the popularity is great, but the experience suffers because of the crowd. To solve that, Bookworm Gardens is looking to expand.

One senior, Mariann L., remembers when the founder Sandy Livermore asked the University if she could use the grounds for this garden. “The University said if it’s educational, she could,” said Mariann. “My kids live out of state, but I babysit for neighbor children, and I love to take them. They’re always so enthused. They just thought it was wonderful. There’s such a variety of things for them to see.” With 70 children’s literature-themed environments, this one-of-a-kind garden is truly a magical place in Sheboygan. Thank you Elizabeth for speaking to our seniors!

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