Once upon a time there was an idea. Like most ideas, it started with a question: what if you could bring your favorite children’s book to life? What if you could hop aboard the magic school bus? Meet the three bears? Create your own world with Harold and a purple crayon? Over fifteen years ago, a woman in Sheboygan, Wisconsin named Sandy Livermore had an idea – she wanted to bring books to life one garden at a time. The idea took root and became Bookworm Gardens.
Bookworm is a botanical garden based on children's literature, and our mission is to enrich the mind, body, and spirit of the young and young at heart through exploration in a garden environment based on children's literature. Learn more about our founding and history.
We are open May thru October and house over 70 different gardens, each inspired by a children’s book. Bookworm Gardens opened in 2010 and since then we’ve been busy with nature-based field trips, summer camps, weekend events, and classes for learners of all ages. We have no admission price and encourage our community to visit, explore, and become connected with the natural world. In 2018 we served over 6,000 young learners through our field trip and camp programs, over 5,800 grown ups in our adult events and workshops, over 10,000 people at our family festivals and over 80,000 general visitors!
Bookworm Gardens is a grassroots non-profit organization that values community connections. Over the past twenty years over 1,000 people have volunteered their time, talents and treasures to get us where we are today. We partner with over twenty non-profit and educational organizations, including the Sheboygan Area School District, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, the Mead Public Library, Sheboygan County Head Start, the Mequon Nature Preserve, the Riveredge Nature Center, the Sheboygan County Beekeepers Association, the University of Wisconsin in Sheboygan, and the Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival. We are also supported through memberships and volunteer hours donated by community members as well as a host of local business partners.
In a world of uncertainty, the Gardens have become a place of joy. We’ve proven that even the smallest seed of an idea can grow into something amazing. With the help of our community, we can continue to write the next chapter in our story so that Bookworm Gardens can not only be a place where books come to life, but where outdoor learning and nature exploration can thrive.
For more information about how you can get involved, check out the links below.