The Kevin Heinze Sensory Park
In 2011, The Kevin Heinze Sensory Park received a garden makeover by a team of 40 staff from Bunnings Warehouse devoting their time to a community service. They toiled in the rain to revitalise the park and add a few new features. The waterfall was also redesigned and fit with a switch button and a timer for our students to operate.
Dandenong Valley School's curriculum initiative of a specially designed sensory park, was a 'first' in Victorian specialist schools. Together with Kevin Heinze, Australia's well known gardener, the park was developed at the school.
The Sensory Park is a great school and community resource. The school was proud to have his Excellency, the honourable Richard E. McGarvie, A.C., Governor of Victoria, officially open the park on 11th May, 1995. The park is named after Kevin Heinze as a tribute to his magnificent contribution, through gardening, to children and people with difficulties.
The sensory park benefits students through experiential learning in the park. Children learn through their senses of touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste.
All areas of the curriculum are encompassed through the children’s exciting and stimulating sensory experiences. The sensory park is a novel gardening approach to curriculum.
Surrounded by a mini forest of lemon scented gums and perfumed trees, a sensory world awaits the learner and explorer. Fragrant and edible herbs, coloured and sweet smelling flowers, special scrunchy and smooth plants, water worn pebbles and rough rocks, whistling birds and rustling grasses welcome the visitor.
The school invites other school children, its neighbours and community members to share its sensory park. Pathways and garden beds are specifically designed for safe and easy wheelchair access.
Main Plants Used in the Garden
Eucalyptus Citriodora (lemon scented)
Lavender – French
Pittosporum Tenuufolium (sweet pittosporum)
Hymenosporum Plauum (Native Frangipani)
Pennisetum Alopecurades (native grasses)
Herbs – Perfumed x 50 per variety