The diversity of plant communities and the extensive acreage of Shaw Nature Reserve, combined with the educational resources of the Garden, provide a unique opportunity for outdoor education. The Nature Reserve serves as an outdoor laboratory for the development of innovative outdoor interpretive programs. The education staff, specially trained volunteers and guest instructors offer workshops, classes and natural awareness walks for thousands of children and adults each year.
Some years ago we developed an outdoor educational area at the Nature Reserve: In collaboration with the National Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, the Nature Reserve has built a Nature Explore Classroom™. Using research-tested activities and unstructured play with natural materials in this outdoor setting, children will gain connection with nature, as a wholesome antidote to the increasing cultural problem of "nature deficit disorder." In 2015 we opened the Sense of Wonder Woodland to expand the Nature Explore Classroom. The Sense of Wonder Woodland includes a fire tower, tree-mendous bridge, elf house, story time area, and more.
Children's Nature Play Areas