IT WAS a milestone moment as Rosella Park students looked, listened, touched, tasted and smelt their way through their new sensory garden.

Students couldn't get enough of Pixie Park at the grand opening on Monday.

The garden has been designed with disability in mind to incorporate all five senses through an array of textures, smells, bright colours, sounds and tastes.

P and C president Lisa Lowe said the garden, which cost about $95,000, had been a long-term goal for at least five years.

It was finally made possible last year when the Gladstone Ports Corporation named Rosella Park School as the major beneficiary for the 2011 Botanic to Bridge event.

"We are very excited to finally get it in the ground and have it open today for the kids to use," Ms Lowe said.

"The children have been watching the area develop over the last few months and they were excited as they saw more and more things appear.

"Today they finally got to use it and you can see it on their faces, they are just so happy."

The new sensory garden was designed with autistic kids such as eight-year-old Keira Hughes in mind.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are sensory orientated.

Keira's teacher Sharran McNiven said Keira loved anything she could absorb herself in.

"She loves paint, water, and 'goop'. She learns through her senses."

Keira said she loved the new garden, especially playing in the water.

Ms McNiven said the garden would be especially good for teaching concepts such as wet, dry, hard, and soft.

"Touching, feeling and relaying information is how Keira sees the world," she said.

"So it will be good for re-enforcing verbal communication as well."

Take a journey through the garden

BRAILLE stones, herbs, streams and bright colours are all part of the interactive journey students are set to take when they enter the sensory garden at Rosella Park School.

Students start at the bottom and work their way up, said senior teacher Janice Buckle.

"At the ground level there is grass and wood.

"As they continue through the garden there are different textures, smells and colours."

One of the favourite parts of the sensory garden is the peep box.

Kids pop their hands into the sealed box to feel what's inside.

Yesterday, children copped a feel of jelly and spaghetti.

"What's inside the box will change depending on the program," Ms Buckle said.

Another favourite was the stream.

You couldn't wipe the smiles off all the kids' faces as they splashed around in the ankle-deep water.

About Pixie Park

  • Cost about $95,000.
  • Rosella Park School P and C has been raising funds for the past five years but the majority of funding came from the Gladstone Ports Corporation.
  • The garden's design was a collaborative effort from teachers, P and C members and Jada Building Services.


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