Nature Explore Classroom

SPCC August 2012

In a society perpetually in a hurry, immersed in technology and distanced from nature we recognized a need in our urban setting to foster a connection to and respect for nature. We wanted to instill in our students a sense of wonder and curiosity as they engage with nature. We wanted to them grow as citizens who take ownership for the environment and value their natural surroundings. We wanted them to wander outside and appreciate the beauty of the landscape while investigating; integrating lessons in science, nutrition, exercise, diversity,  music, art, and literacy into their experience of the outdoors. 

Gardening 2014


This is how we found Nature Explore and became dedicated to having our playground be a Nature Explore Classroom. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, Nature Explore sets criteria for interactive learning and  nature centers in the playground. 

053015 ph.jpg


Funded with a grant from the Grotto Foundation, and the hard work and dedication of many, many staff, family and community volunteers we became the 5th center in Minnesota to have a certified Nature Explore Classroom in 2013! Learn more at http://www.natureexplore.org/As a community we made the plans, built structures, and labored to transform our outdoor space to include; an arbor, butterfly and bird  gardens, a nature walk, a bridge over a dry river, digging spaces for messy play, water play areas, a stage, music and art stations, and children's gardens. See pictures below of our transformation. 


092514 jm1


IMG 1467.jpg


IMG 1738.jpg


IMG 3988.jpg


IMG 1587.jpg


IMG 4729.jpg


IMG 1463 2.jpg


IMG 5084 2.jpg


IMG 8126.jpg


IMG 1465.jpg


IMG 1681.jpg


image19 2.jpg


IMG 7517.JPG


Our deepest gratitude to the numerous volunteers and to the Grotto Foundation for making this beautiful  project possible.


© CMG copyright 2017