Simply put, a backyard is just an area of grass behind one’s house or other building. However, when I was a kid, there was more to it than that. It was an oasis of exploration; It was my garden, it was my jungle, it was was even my kitchen for the occasional mud pie or two. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that backyards play an important role throughout childhood and My Big Backyard at the Memphis Botanic Garden exists to play that part for Memphis youth.
In celebration of its 10th year of operation, My Big Back Yard invites everyone to frolic, create, play, and party in their space during the Memphis Botanic Garden Backyard Bash on Saturday, September 21.
“Parks and open play spaces are great, but I learned how to be an explorer in my backyard, ” said Mary Helen Butler, Assistant Executive Director at Memphis Botanic. “We know that many local youth don’t have their own [backyard] to romp around it, but we hope that My Big Backyard can be that for them and all others.”
Having been with the gardens since 1990, Mary has seen it through many growth spurts—from the building of the Hardin Hall venue and the launch of Live at the Garden to the groundbreaking of the children’s garden that has grown into My Big Backyard.
“When I was hired, our Master Plan for the MBG included a small children’s garden, and from early on I started imagining what this could be and how it could bring in a whole new audience to experience our 96 acre garden, ” Mary said. “I attended a children’s garden summit in New York with people from gardens across the country talking about the need for outdoor nature play experiences for children, so that’s when we really started dreaming. It’s been so rewarding seeing how this garden has been embraced by families…not just to visit once or twice a year, but I know there are many who come every few days to play. We named it My Big Backyard because we really wanted our members and guests to feel like this special place belongs to them.”
If you think that the Backyard Bash is just for the kiddos, think again! Even us adults need to play. The daytime portion boasts the family-friendly fun, and as the sun goes down, the cocktails will begin slinging for the adults-only party.
- When: Saturday, September 21
- Family-Fun Birthday Party (10AM-1PM)
- Adults-Only Birthday Bash (7PM-10PM)
- Where: Memphis Botanic Garden (750 Cherry Rd)
- Cost: Birthday Party FREE with garden admission
- Adults Only Backyard Bash: $75 or $250 for Host Couple Package.