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Great Bay Celebrates New Inclusion Garden

Nov 5, 2021 | Friends, Great Bay, New Hampshire, Reserves

The ribbon cutting ceremony at the Great Bay Discovery Center.

Congratulations to the Great Bay Stewards and our New Hampshire Reserve for the new Inclusion Garden at the Discovery Center! The garden is the result of a collaboration to transform the Center grounds into a more accessible and inclusive space for the whole community.

“The Center and Stewards together have a long history of working toward accessibility and inclusivity,” says Deb Alberts, Stewards Board Chair. “We are so pleased to build on that past work and are thrilled to share the amazing garden created by Reserve staff and volunteers.”

The space includes a new sensory garden—built at a height within reach of visitors, including those in wheelchairs—a more accessible path, and playground equipment.

Grab bars in the natural play area make the area fun for visitors of all ages. A new Brava Universal Swing will allow children of all abilities to swing in multiple ways; it is also designed to mimic stimming behaviors for children with autism to participate in an activity that is comfortable and calming for them.

Hundreds of  grasses, annuals, and perennials are planted among sculptures in a design that simulates the flow of tributaries towards the estuary. The garden’s centerpiece is a blue heron sculpture by New Hampshire artist Jeff Whittum, who specializes in found and salvaged metal sculptures.

The new heron sculpture at the Great Bay Discovery Center.

The garden was inspired as a celebration of life for Jordan Roberge, son of Stewards Board Trustee Sheila Roberge, who was committed in his own life and work to diversity and inclusivity. It was made possible through the generous support of AARP, grant funding from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and an awesome team of volunteers. To learn more about supporting the Stewards and their work, visit

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FriendsGreat Bay Celebrates New Inclusion Garden