The Alamance Partnership for Children recently opened an outdoor learning environment adjacent to their office in the Historic Glencoe Mill Village. This is already an area rich in cultural history and environmental education--the office is near the Haw River, Great Bend Park and the Textile Heritage Museum. Some of the play area's structures and elements were designed to complement the culture, history and environment of the area.
The area was designed the Natural Learning Initiative, a program of the N.C. State University’s College of Design. The project was initiated with funding from a grant from Shape NC, a partnership between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the N.C. Partnership for Children. Shape NC is a three-year, $3-million program aimed at childhood obesity. Read the full story in the Times-News, and this pdf gives brief overview of the OLE's goals and featured.
Natural playspaces and outdoor learning environments like this one are a growing trend and offer numerous health and academic benefits. For young children, they are also a great way to introduce environmental education and build on the essential awareness component.
Congratulations Alamance Partnership for Children on this great accomplishment!