It's a one-of-a-kind playground right here in the Hudson Valley that people travel from near and far to use.  It has become a Hudson Valley staple since it opened in June of 2016.  It is also the first fully accessible playground in Dutchess County, constantly expanding to offer fun and entertainment to children of all abilities.

The co-founder of Julie's Jungle, a wonderful woman and incredible community member named Clare Moran who just passed away this past October, put so much work into creating this space.

Julie's Jungle in East Fishkill is more than just a playground offering a kindness rock garden as well as beautifully maintained gardens with water features.  Sadly, this week the staff at Julie's Jungle issued a statement asking that visitors please supervise their children and pets, as the gardens are being destroyed.

The Gardens at Julie's Jungle at Lime Kiln

As a parent, I've certainly been guilty of it; bringing my daughter to the local playground, letting her run along with friends and play, and then scrolling aimlessly on my phone to catch up on the latest news or social media posts.  I obviously always have an eye on my daughter, but am I watching her every single move? No, but sometimes we need to be.

In a statement on their Facebook page this week, Julie's Jungle asked that children please be supervised, especially when in their beautiful gardens.

Children are climbing on the rocks in the stream and have torn holes in the liner causing major damage to the waterfall feature. They are throwing rocks and debris into the water clogging the skimmer and damaging mechanisms, they are stomping the flowers in the flower beds, ripping flowers out, and garden stakes identifying the flowers have been removed and thrown around the premises.

They also shared that dog owners have also been allowing their pets to use the gardens as a bathroom.

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Believe it or not, there's only one person responsible for maintaining the gardens, and lately, it's been shared that she's been working in the hot sun, repairing damages only to return the next day to further damage.

Facebook/Julie's Jungle
Facebook/Julie's Jungle

Plans for Julie's Jungle Gardens Moving Forward

Visitors will soon see signage around the gardens, as well as ropes around the water area to prevent any further damage.  They'll also be adding some interactive activities for children to touch and use.  In their post, Julie's Jungle also shared the garden rules in hopes that visitors will become familiar with them and ensure their children are following the guidelines:

  • Keep feet on paths only
  • Do not enter the water, climb on the rocks, throw things into the water, pick the flowers, or remove garden fixtures.
  • Do enjoy the colors, fragrances, and beauty.
  • Do watch and teach your children to be respectful of the property of others.
  • No dogs allowed.
It's also on us, though, to do better with our children.  Teach them not only to respect others that they come across on the playground but also the property.  It's also important for us to do our part, and pay attention to what our kids are up to, always.

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