Sarasota News Leader

11/15/2013

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PREPARE TO BE ENCHANTED City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell addresses the crowd at the Nov. 9 dedication. SELBY GARDENS CELEBRATES THE COMPLETION OF ITS CHILDREN'S RAINFOREST GARDEN Staff Reports On Nov. 9, Selby Gardens welcomed children — and their parents, of course — to explore a brand new world: the Ann Goldstein Children's Rainforest Garden. The dedication was held under the banyans in the grove where Marie Selby planted Morton Bay fig trees in the early 1920s. It featured remarks from Selby leaders, elected officials and Alfred Goldstein, who contributed the lead gift in honor of his late wife, Ann, a news release pointed out. The celebration included self-guided tours of the new garden as well as live musical performances, hands-on demonstrations, lawn games and arts and crafts. The elevated rainforest has been designed to enable children and families to interact with and learn from plants. Among its highlights are huts with thatch roofs, a waterfall cascading down a rock face with lush plants, a suspended rope bridge, caves for exploring, adventure trails and even a research station "to inspire curious minds about what they may find in an actual working research center," the news release notes. "Features were purposely designed to simulate one of the wildest places on earth — the tropical rainforest, home to half the world's known plant and animal species," the release adds

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