GODFREY — The Nature Institute is celebrating its 33rd year of Discovery Day Camp by looking for a new way to enhance children’s educational experience.
The summer brings in a new season of hiking and day camps, and with it an enhanced play area. The play area has been on the TNI wish list for some time, and with the help of an anonymous donor, the project officially has the green light.
“We looked into a traditional playground, but felt we could stay true to our mission by pursuing a non-traditional route,” said Angela Moan, executive director. While refreshing the play area, sustainability and education stand as two of the most important factors when determining what items to include.
The current play area was created more than 10 years ago. Some of its original structures will remain but not without a face-lift, such as the fossil dig and the eagle’s nest. The additions will include a recycled lumber beehive, a groundhog burrow, a mud kitchen, an art center and a geology walk in memory of Judy Hoffman, just to name a few.
“We saw a need for a new type of educational experience with an eco-friendly element,” education director Patricia Brown said.
The new equipment will be derived from recycled and natural materials. The additions are designed to encourage families to create natural playgrounds in their backyards.
The play area has a finish date of mid-June; just in time for camp. For information about the play area updates or summer events happening at TNI, contact info@TheNatureInstitute.org, (618) 466-9930 or visit www.TheNatureInstitute.org.