Lilacs at The Children's Room
Lilacs at The Children’s Room

Project Spotlight: The Children’s Room

The Children’s Room contacted COGdesign in The Children’s Room is a non-profit that provides caring support to children after the death of someone close to them, typically a parent or a sibling. Children that come to The Children’s Room have endured trauma and stress, so their physical space needs to reflect our mission. The Children’s Room philosophy tries to show that death is part of nature, and emphasizes the organic nature of things.

The Children’s Room is a 100+ year old Victorian house located on a corner, triangular lot on a high-traffic, highly visible corner in Arlington. The lot is approximately130 feet long (the sides), and is located on a steep hill with a large retaining wall.When The Children’s Room approached COGdesign in 2007, the group’s front yard did not reflect its mission. Neglected, boring, overgrown, with dull plantings, it was neither inviting nor comforting to grieving families, and presented a negative image to the community.

COGdesign volunteer David McCoy developed a plan to reflect the process of healing, emphasize the natural cycles of life, and bring beauty and animation to The Children’s Room’s landscape. A plant palette of floriferous, ornamental, and multi-featured selections brings butterflies, insects, and birds to the site and dazzles children with seasonal displays of flowers, fruit, form, and color.

COGdesign volunteer Eileen Michaels, owner of A Yard and A Half Land-scaping in Waltham, stepped forward to donate her company’s expertise to grade the site, prepare the soil, and build a needed retaining wall. Her crew installed a new paved walk that starts from the sidewalk and winds its way into the new front garden, installed sod and helped with planting.


COGdesign Municipality and Nonprofit Projects
Children’s Museum in Easton 9 Sullivan Ave North Easton
Embassy Park Design Competition 238 Moody Street Waltham
NOAH Office Building 143 Border Street East Boston 
Roslindale Village Courtyard Roslindale Village, Boston
Symphony Park Symphony Community Park Boston  
The Children’s Room 1210 Massachusetts Ave Arlington
The Stow Town Building 380 Great Rd Stow
Triangle, Inc. 420 Pearl St. Malden 
Wilde Traffic Island 202 Nehoiden Rd Waban
Concord Prison Outreach Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Concord 965 Elm St. Concord
Somerville Community Growing Center 22 Vinal Ave, Somerville
Mother Brook Community Arts Center 123 High Street, Dedham
UTEC Lowell 35 Warren St, Lowell
St. Marks Area Main Streets 1914 Dorchester Avenue Dorchester