Nature Explore Classroom at Shaw Nature Reserve
A Division of the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Shaw Nature Reserve has now entered into its 4th year as a Certified Nature Explore Classroom.
The Nature Explore Classroom at Shaw Nature Reserve continues to be extremely popular with families and school groups. Shaw offers Discover Nature-families classes and drop-in Saturdays using the classroom.
Maintenance has proven to be relatively easy for this spacious site. After harsh Missouri winters of freezing and thawing, the outdoor classroom is thoroughly checked for safety. An annual burn helps to maintain the prairie area. One of the newest additions this year is a new rope spider web for climbing on.
There were a few challenges in the past year. The weaving loom has not been successful. Children continue to climb on it, breaking the weave, despite “do not climb on” signage. Keeping the Nature Art area well stocked has also been a challenge as items keep getting carried away by children and animals.
More and more school groups visit the Nature Explore Classroom after attending classes with Shaw and feedback from visitors continues to be very positive. The Nature Explore Classroom is getting more and more use as families discover the joys of connecting with nature and each other. The staff at Shaw continues to facilitate many tours throughout the year to groups who desire information on building their own outdoor spaces and connecting children with nature on a daily basis.