top of page
Children's Museum of Sonoma County
Santa Rosa, CA
Chilren's Museum of Sonoma County - Mary's Garden, an award-winning nature-play paradise in Santa Rosa
Project Description

The Russian River weaves through Sonoma County, California, traversing inland agricultural valleys and redwood forests before reaching the rugged Pacific coast. At the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, a Russian River replica takes kids on a fun and educational journey through Mary’s Garden, the award-winning outdoor exploration area that BASE designed. 


The ecologically responsible and locally rooted landscape invites children to connect with nature through play. Kids learn about metamorphosis and pollination through interactive installations showing the life cycle of the butterfly. They become farmers for a day at the Farm Stand, where they grow, harvest and sell toy fruits and veggies. They explore the intricacies of a watershed by diverting and damming water and experiencing the work involved in pumping and irrigating. Hands-on waterplay teaches youngsters about the salmon life cycle, and lets them experiment with hydropower.

client. Children's Museum of Sonoma County

team. BASE Landscape Architecture

         Scientific Art Studio

         Walker Avenue Nursery 

         AE Nelson Construction

year completed. 2014

size. 1.6 acres

awards. NCC-ASLA Honor Award / 2015

press.  6 Parks that Make the World a Better Place to Live Kids Activities, Sonoma Style (New York Times)

tour. Children's Museum of Sonoma County Live Tour, as part of ASLA Celebrating Women's History Month, in partnership with WxLA, 2022

bottom of page