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Of all places, a major landscape architecture website declares that the No. 1 spot in the world that was built for children and is not part of playground is located in Santa Rosa, California.

The place: Mary’s Garden, the outdoors focal point of the community jewel that we call the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County.

The online Landscape Architects Network created a list of top 10 children’s learning and recreation projects around the globe. The survey concluded that nothing surpasses Mary’s Garden, with its interactive exhibits on the life cycle of the butterfly and intricate miniature of the Russian River.

Within Mary’s Garden, the citation notes, children “can be involved in the plant-growing process by planting, feeding, and watering vegetation. They can fish, run, and learn from nature.”

An honored Collette Michaud, founder and director of the Children’s Museum, credits a caring community and three design firms key to the making of Mary’s Garden: BASE Landscape Architecture, Tammara Norman Landscape Architecture and Scientific Arts Studio.

The listing at landarchs.com/projects-for-children highlights some very cool places designed and created for children in Normal, Ill., and in the Netherlands, Australia, Mexico, France, Poland and Germany.

But the best one?

It’s right over by the Schulz Museum and ice rink, just blocks from Coddingtown Mall.

...

SOMETHING POTENT and worthwhile may well happen on a stage in downtown Santa Rosa on Saturday afternoon.

There’s no saying what it’ll be because some of the entertainers and speakers don’t know about it yet.

This much is certain: Leila Steinberg is coming back to town at the invitation of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County. Not sure who Steinberg is?

She’s an SSU alum and former stage performer who managed and mentored late Marin County rapper Tupac Shakur. Steinberg now helps artists advance their careers and she works with at-risk youth and prison inmates to heighten their lives through writing and the arts.

She will be portrayed in a new film on the slain 2Pac, “All Eyez on Me.” From noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art and Politics in Santa Rosa, she’ll speak about what she does.

And she’ll invite people to come up and perform or speak about bringing fractured communities together, helping kids who are troubled, pretty much whatever anyone wants to talk about.

Rubin Scott of 100 Black Men said that in response to police shootings and conflicts of race and class there’s much venting but not so much conversation.

Who will go onto the stage Saturday and what will they say, or play? We shall see.

...

NO OLYMPIC MEDALS will adorn the neck of Santa Rosa native Jennifer Lavin, but its the stuff of champions for her to be sent to Rio as an executive producer with cable TV’s E! News.

The Class of 1990 Ursuline High alum is with a crew that isn’t covering the Games but the players. A quick check of recent E! News coverage turned up pieces on gymnast Aly Raisman’s animated parents, Olympic crying and Samuel L. Jackson’s prolific “Go USA!” tweets.

Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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