Polly Rogers Memorial Sensory Garden

The Polly Rogers Sensory Garden, designed with children in mind, engages and stimulates all the senses through plantings and interactive elements. To date, $24,145 has been raised for this special space on campus.

Polly’s Garden is now open, thanks to YOU!

June 15, 2021

On May 22nd, the Polly Rogers Memorial Sensory Garden opened to the public — thanks to you and your generous support.

Named in memory of UNC Charlotte student Polly Rogers, this enchanting garden celebrates Polly’s passion for special education. Her wheelchair-accessible garden was designed to offer a therapeutic environment to the local community while also allowing young people with autism and related conditions, as well as all people of varying abilities, a way to safely engage and stimulate their senses.

Tim Rogers, Polly’s dad, shared the following message:

The Rogers family would like to extend our deepest gratitude for all of the kind and warm support we’ve been shown throughout the journey to bring Polly’s Sensory Garden to the campus and greater Charlotte communities. Her spirit and energy are beautifully captured there, awaiting your visit. We are humbled by your generosity and our appreciation is beyond communication. So, simply and sincerely, we thank you.

After watching this video about the Polly Rogers Memorial Sensory Garden, I invite you to visit the space in person!

I can’t wait to watch as the garden flourishes, all thanks to your generosity. Thank you.


Jeff Gillman, Ph.D.

Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens


April 19, 2019

Thank you so much for supporting the Polly Rogers Sensory Garden at UNC Charlotte! YOU have helped us raise over $17,000 for this beautiful space and all it's important features. We cannot thank you enough!


Next year, Polly's family, friends, and the Cato College of Education plan to continue raising money to fulfill a larger goal: funding the ongoing maintenance of the garden. There will be several events in the fall that we look forward to sharing; much more to come at a later date.


Please continue to remember Polly’s spirit and share her story with your friends and colleagues. The fundraising page will remain open to collect any additional gifts. Every single dollar raised honors her inspiring legacy and unforgettable spirit, and will benefit people with Autism and other developmental disabilities for years to come. Simply and sincerely, THANK YOU to all who have contributed. We are overflowing with gratitude.


Be kind to one another.

Sharon Horinka, ‘11

Botanical Gardens Supporter

Polly Rogers Sensory Garden Team Leader

Pollys 21st Birthday | Today, April 11th

April 11, 2019

UNC Charlotte is wishing Polly Rogers a happy heavenly 21st birthday today. Please join us in helping honor Polly's memory and celebrate the gift of having her has a friend, sister, family member, and student by making a gift of $21 to honor her 21st birthday.



Your support is making a difference!

March 18, 2019

Thank you for your support of the Polly Rogers Sensory Garden! Your donations will help give accessibility to folks with disabilities in and around the UNC Charlotte community. Contributions to this special garden will provide crucial resources that allow people with Autism (and other developmental disabilities) to stimulate their senses of sound, sight, touch, and taste. These features may include things like instruments, edible fruits and flowers, subtly scented plants, sensory toys, or large stones.


Ed Davis, the Landscape Architect for the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, has given us a beautiful rendering of the Polly Rogers Sensory Garden. Thank you for honoring Polly's dream by bringing fundamental accessibility and exciting new resources to countless campus visitors!



Polly's Day of Service

January 31, 2019

On November 3rd, 2018 the Zeta Tau Alpha chapter at UNC Charlotte held a Day of Service in memory of Polly Rogers. Nearly 200 of her ZTA sisters, friends, family, and members of the UNC Charlotte community gathered at the Hauser Alumni Pavilion to kick off the full day of service.  After kind words were shared by family and friends celebrating her life, those who attended split off into specific service projects. There were 10 different Charlotte area service locations ranging from a Habitat for Humanity build, to serving in an assisted living facility. Those volunteers had a wonderful time serving the community in Polly’s memory.


Driven from her love for special education, Polly’s passion in life was giving back to her community. She always strived to help those less fortunate than herself, and her actions consistently reflected her favorite words, “be kind to one another”. Polly’s (first) Day of Service encompassed who Polly was and will continue on as an annual event for an opportunity to celebrate her kindness and compassion for others.

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