The new Edible Playground has given the young people at Aquarius a garden for fruits, vegetables and herbs, alongside sensory and wildlife areas to spend time in.
Aquarius is a centre for children and young people based in Edgbaston, Birmingham who face addiction issues such as alcohol, drugs and gambling, either directly or within their family set up. The centre offers a variety of services specifically for 8-18 year olds in a respectful, caring environment.
The centre’s GROW programme was put in place after it was identified that there was a strong need for their young people to improve their understanding of food and to develop healthier food choices. As part of this programme Trees for Cities was asked to create an Edible Playground to give the young people and their families the opportunity to grow, cook and eat a variety of healthy and nutritious foods.
We designed and built an Edible Playground that included green screen fruit tree espalier hedging, along with individual seats for time alone, and a circular seating area around a fire bowl where the children can relax together.
The new Edible Playground has given the young people at Aquarius and their families a garden for fruits, vegetables, salads and herbs, alongside sensory and wildlife areas for individuals and their counsellors to spend time in. It’s currently being enjoyed by the young people and their families to grow and eat healthy fruit and vegetables and also as space for leisure.
The positive feedback from the centre has been great to hear, with one of the young people there saying: “I didn't like vegetables but now I'm thinking I need to go home and cook this stuff. I'm living the vegetable life".