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Drone photo, September 2019

What is a Cognitive Garden?

Cognition means to acquire knowledge through the senses, experience, and thought. A cognitive garden encourages learning through these three processes while exposing people to nature. While the benefits of nature extend to all ages, young children learn primarily through their senses and a multitude of studies have demonstrated a correlation between sensory stimulation and brain development. 

Why a Cognitive Garden?

A critical developmental “window” exists from birth to approximately age seven, during which many neural connections are formed. The greater the variety and scope of sensory stimulation, the more complex the brain structure. Along with the cognitive benefits of nature, there are also well-documented benefits to children that include more confidence, higher self-esteem, and a greater ability to concentrate. 

Contact Me

Phone: (860) 271-5524
annette.montoya@uconn.edu
Address: University of Connecticut Avery Point
1084 Shennecossett Rd,
Groton, CT 06340

Garden Goals

The goals of this project are to create a garden that encourages cognitive development and experiential learning through sensory stimulation and self-directed play as well as to establish a garden that draws children outside and creates a lasting connection to nature and their community.

Latest Blog Post

  • One Step Further
    We have been working hard to build the stone “steps” in the shade garden and they are finally done. This stone pathway takes us up the hill from the sandpit and around a small shade garden. Polytrichum (haircap) and Hypnum (fern) moss cover the ground between steps, poking their little heads up, asking to be […]
    Posted on November 19, 2019

Garden Work in Progress

View of the garden, late June 2019

View of the garden, late June 2019