project leader
Shelly Z
137 SW 2nd Ave.
(1.5 blocks from downtown Delray Beach)
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Check out our new fence!

the project

(children judging the garden designs)

Delray Beach Children's Garden has been designed and built by children. We, the adults, are the facilitators.

In September of 2014 our steering committee of 12 organized a design charette. Educators, landscape architects, neighbors, city officials and students came together to design the garden. Our panel of judges consisted of 8 children ranging in ages from 7-17. Five designs were presented to this panel for both praise and criticism. Taking these comments seriously,a local landscape architect at the event volunteered to draw up the final, professional plans which include a labyrinth made of raised bed veggie planters, a banana forest, an aquaponics learning center, a medicinal garden, pollinator beds, mulch mountain, a tree house and sand pit, a sunflower house and more.

On January 22, 2015 the city of Delray Beach approved the garden plan and the build began. The project is a community endeavor. The 1/2 acre lot has been donated as well as over 100 plants, 400 square feet of pavers, 4 truckloads of mulch and the irrigation system. To date, we have had 5 groups of students and a boy scout troup help build the garden. On any given Saturday you will find high school students doing community service, neighbors, families, religious groups and other interested citizens joining us in planting, mulching and building.

the steps

We have teams of volunteers just waiting for materials so that they can begin building. Once the funds come in our purchasing committee will order the supplies and set the work dates. We already have a regular Saturday morning work day in place. Both the pond and the fence can be completed in two days. Our goal is to have both projects completed by the end of June, 2015.                                 

why we're doing it

The last two decades have seen Delray Beach explode from a ”Village by the Sea” into a very popular and vibrant small city. One thing that is lacking, however, is a place where children can play and learn in a natural setting.

Delray Beach Children's Garden is being built to combat the following phenomenon:

1. Trends moving more and more away from the natural world and more and more into air-conditioning and screen-watching

2. Less green spaces where children can experience the interconnectedness of all things

3. Parental fears about the safety of allowing their children to play outdoors without supervision.

Delray Beach Children's Garden will be the first of its kind in South Florida, bringing children from all economic and cultural backgrounds to work, play, learn, explore and problem solve together in a lush, natural setting.


Updated disbursement budget:

Periphery Fence $4,000.00
Materials for an Aquaponics Learning Center $1,000.00
Extra funds raised to go towards garden shed 22.33

RAISED = $5,208.00
 less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
 less 3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) $150.67

Original Budget:

Periphery Fence $4,000.00
Materials for an Aquaponics Learning Center $1,000.00


SUBTOTAL = $5,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) $150



Check out our new fence!

Garden Visitors!

Delray Beach Childrens Garden welcomed special visitors from Paul's Place, an after school program in our neighborhood.  We hope to see these smiling happy faces again when we officially open in the fall!  

Check out photos from our groundbreaking event!

A note from DBCG Director, Shelly Zacks:

As most of you know, I have been dreaming for over a decade about a Children’s Garden in our hometown of Delray Beach. It is with great excitement that I share with you that the dream has begun to be realized. The half-acre lot that St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is leasing to our nonprofit for $10 a year is slowly, but surely, being transformed into a lush, natural environment where children can learn, explore and play in nature.  We have made great progress with approved city plans and we are currently fundraising for the periphery fence and the aquaponics education center. 

This past Friday we were excited to host nearly 150 locals to celebrate with us during the Groundbreaking of Delray Beach Children's Garden. There was music and donations of local food and even a maypole.

A special thanks to all of the volunteers who gave their time to put on such a beautiful event and to the local vendors who provided delicious refreshments for our guests to enjoy.

Inika Foods – vegan organic garden cake
Max's Harvest - deviled eggs – (made from Farmer Jay’s eggs!)
Fresh Market – fruit trays
Winnie Edwards – fresh brewed iced tea and herbal infused water
Cece Blakemore – cucumber sandwiches

Lastly, I am so grateful for the tremendous support from my fellow Delray Beach Children’s Garden Volunteer Committee Members: Administrator: Wendy Partin Treasurer: Kate George, Education Programming: Bridget Langford and April Barbarosh, Business Development and Marketing: Winnie Edwards Garden Construction: Claude Auger, Bruce Fuller, Marcus Fuller, Horticulturist: Jeannie Fernsworth Landscape Architect: Allan Hendricks, Gardeners: Brenda Diaz, Norman Burg, Cece Blakemore, Alex Cull, Cheryl Wells

Much love and gratitude to you all,

Photos from our groundbreaking event!

 Official Groundbreaking of the Delray Beach Children's Garden! Vice Mayor Shelly Petrolia, Shelly Zacks and the children of Delray Beach!

DBCG Maypole!Delray Beach Children's Garden Maypole Dance

Christy Collins (St. Paul Episcopal Church), Winnie Edwards (DBCG Committee Member) and Sandy Simon (long time Delray Beach resident)

  Delray Beach children releasing the ladybugs into the Garden --- fun and learning about the essential parts of the garden's ecosystem. 








Inika Foods founders (and twin sisters!) with the beautiful and delicious vegan cake donated to our groundbreaking!



Groundbreaking on Friday, May 1st!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Sarah G.
  • Siler, Bailey, and Connor
  • Vir & Roberta Mockler
  • Ellie and Graham
  • Andrea
  • Anonymous
  • Paul Zacks' Nephew Dustin
  • janice leibhan
  • Kelley Diveto
  • William J.
  • Michael M.
  • Kirsten M.
  • Space of Mind Schoolhouse
  • Anonymous
  • Lisa
  • Evan, Dana, Benny, and Jesse
  • jill n.
  • Chana Spivack
  • June B. Backer
  • Elizabeth Devereux
  • Marika Stone
  • Lenore O.
  • Amy W.
  • Tayler M.
  • Sarah Fineman
  • Anonymous
  • Anita B.
  • Lora McCoy
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Amanda Nall-Giannoutsos
  • Kristen Murtaugh
  • Vicki Z.
  • David and Robin Edgar
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • suzy garfinkle and natalie chevrier
  • Jackie O.
  • Joe, Courtney, and Bodhi
  • Anonymous
  • The Swope Family
  • Anonymous
  • Ron and Linda B.
  • Mike & Pearl Johnson
  • Anonymous
  • Jeanne M.
  • Jess and Adam Hirshfield
  • Tara
  • Susan Tarr
  • Ken & Nadine Berke
  • cousin Dodie Harris
  • Ellie and Graham
  • Bradley S.
  • Dad/Zayde Norman
  • Leavitt Family
  • Justin, Sarah, Mira and Zoey
  • Mark and Alice Zacks
  • nancy s.
  • Eden, Matt, and Eli
  • Rachel
  • Seth Zacks
  • arlene t.
  • Anonymous
  • Howard and Geri Zacks
  • Susan Caruso
  • the Hirshfields
  • Paul Zacks
  • Pablo del Real