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The Environmental Education Centre and Alex Shigo Modern Arboriculture Park


The objective of this project is to create a multi-functional centre to aid the spread of science and the life workings of Alex Shigo.  The park is available to the public for recreational and educational activities along with a museum dedicated to material collected by Shigo throughout his life.
 The center aims to become a landmark in the field of modern arboriculture, not only of interest locally, but nationally and internationally recognized.  Emphasis will be placed on the ability to have physical contact with exhibits throughout the centre - "to touch trees" being the favorite saying of Alex Shigo and an important feature of his teachings.
There will be different displays throughout the park, for example an area dedicated to tree planting and another to the pruning and care of trees. The correct and incorrect way to carry out these disciplines will be looked at.   Recreational areas will also be available throughout the park with a fully equipped picnic area, bird watching facilities and large open spaces for events or concerts.
Children will play an active and important role in the future of the park so it will be essential to successfully combine education and play.  They will be taught to recognize different species and to understand the life cycles of trees.  There will be a network of paths throughout the park which will form the basis of an educational treasure hunt.  There will also be areas where children can plant seeds and watch young plants grow.  A willow hut will provide the perfect area for storytelling. 
An integral part of the park will take the form of a tree house in which Alex Shigo’s laboratory will be recreated.  This will include a number of Shigo’s personal belongings and scientific instruments, kindly donated to the park by his family.
 
 The park already contains a large number of trees such as Castanea sativa, Quercus robur, Pinus sylvestris and Betula alba, however the  area will be further planted up with shrubs and herbaceous plants in order to enhance its appearance.  Running in conjunction with all these outdoor spaces will be the visitor centre which will cater for conferences, exhibitions, workshops and parties.



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