The Nature Explore Classroom at
Middle Country Public Library
The Nature Explore Classroom at Middle Country Public Library in Centereach, NY continues giving the community a special place to enjoy nature.
In addition to having the Explorium open to the public during most library hours, a variety of more than 80 programs were offered throughout the year to district patrons of all ages. At times simple drop in activities such as seed planting, butterfly mud pie, nature rubbings, nature collages and nature painting are offered. Nature Explorium and the programs offered are advertised through the quarterly library newsletter and flyers that reach 60,000 residents.
During the past year, many items have been added to the Nature Explorium. New bamboo building blocks were added to the Build It area, new plants in the Grow It area, new instruments in the Play It area and new digging tools, such as shovels and rakes for the Dig It area. Additional container gardens line the Book Path and an additional storage container was purchased to safely store materials for each area. Maintenance this year included sanding and refinishing all of the wood in the Explorium.
Bricks are continually being added to the Book Path. Purchased by members of the community interested in supporting the Nature Explorium, these bricks are engraved with a book title or a book quote.
Last year, two Nature Explorium part-time positions were created to help supervise the area and to develop drop in and exploration activities. Special activities for rainy days were added and include puddle splashing, wet and wild relay races, walking in the rain, rain painting, worm searches and scavenger hunts. Ponchos, with the Nature Explorium logo printed on them, were purchased for children and adults.
The 2nd annual Grow it! Spring Jubilee marked the opening of the Nature Explorium this year. During this event, patrons from the community were invited to join in activities that involved the whole family. The Bari Koral Family Rock Band entertained children and their families with nature inspired songs.