The Haliburton and District Lions Club has been collecting donations for the Enchanted Forest at Abbey Gardens. The children’s play area was vandalized last year and in the last month the Lions have been collecting donations to get it ready for kids to enjoy once again. From left Lions Betty and David Mills Gerald and Tina Hadley Gail and Peter Stelter Abbey Gardens staff Heather Reid and Irene Heaven and Lions Brad Tait and Marilyn Frost. /JENN WATT Staff

Donations put a spell on the Enchanted Forest

By Jenn Watt

Published June 30 2020

The Bog Bakery and Café now has a wooden play kitchen cutlery and a bread box. The Theatre in the Woods is equipped with 16 puppets two crowns several hats and a costume fit for a knight. Harmony Hollow is ready for play with a wooden checkerboard game box tic-tac-toe painted rocks and alphabet blocks.
Donations have rolled in steadily to enhance the Enchanted Forest at Abbey Gardens a children’s outdoor play area that was vandalized last year. The Haliburton and District Lions Club has played a central role in gathering items from the kids’ wish list using donations to purchase others.
On June 26 a group of Lions volunteers gathered at the Forest to deliver the items giving thanks to Emmerson Lumber for use of their truck.

“A huge thank you to the Lions for taking on two of the play areas and making them complete” said Heather Reid operations director at Abbey Gardens.
“I’m so grateful you took our project on” Irene Heaven education co-ordinator at Abbey Gardens told the Lions.
The revamp has also benefited from a $5000 donation from the fundraising group 100 Women Who Care and from many individual donations.
Abbey Gardens is currently waiting for the provincial go-ahead to open playgrounds before it reopens the Enchanted Forest.

More items are still needed: costumes plastic tools and gardening equipment suitable for children and milk crates. You can visit the Lions’ blog at to see a full list of items to donate.