JOIN AHA!'S Next BIG ADVENTURE
The Raymond B. Martens Nature Playscape
What is a Nature Playscape?
Building on AHA!'s 10 years of hands-on learning indoors, it is time to expand to nature, using a playful STEM approach that provides a safe, engaging environment for young children to use gross motor skills and be challenged physically as well as mentally. Providing hands-on, interactive learning experiences that engage children, parents and families as they learn, bond and have fun together is the central mission of AHA!. Exposing children to STEM activities in a fun, interactive manner in a natural setting can foster a desire to learn and encourage children to later pursue careers in STEM fields, be better stewards of the earth and make healthier lifestyle choices. The Outdoor Nature/STEM space is designed to be explored, to inspire building, observing and engaging in the environment. A team of landscape designers, exhibit designers, early childhood education specialists, and community members have worked to create an outdoor play space that is informed by the latest research on how children learn and the kinds of play that leads to the development of 21st Century skills from the very beginnings of their development.
The space includes:
- Replica covered bridge and canal boat with local canal stones
- Tunnel and slide hills
- Raised bed vegetable gardens with rainwater irrigation
- Outdoor classroom/picnic shelter
- 1/10th mile trike track and 10 trikes
- Rain garden
- Sand/mud kitchen play
- Outdoor art frames
- Natural loose parts and log climbing structures
- 17 shade trees and native plants to fill the space
- Just yards away from the city's bike path and wetland restoration area
Donations of all amounts will help support the outdoor space!
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