The Nature Explore Classroom at The Heights
With a Grand Opening Celebration and Arbor Day Celebration on April 6, 2012, the City of Richmond Heights hopes this beautiful outdoor space will be a place for children to explore and learn from nature.
The Cities of Richmond Heights and Maplewood partnered to develop and construct the Nature Explore Classroom which is funded by the two cities and the St. Louis County Municipal Park Grant Commission.
The landscape design of this Nature Explore Classroom included incorporating as many native plantings as possible-approximately 3500! Chosen for resistance to disease, pests and drought tolerant, 95% of the plantings are native to their Missouri growth zone.
With native plants, nature themed boulders, stamped concrete and various textures, colors and shapes, this outdoor space compliments existing structures. Urban lumber was harvested by the forestry crew and milled to make benches, signs and storage pieces for the classroom. Native Missouri limestone was included in the classroom plan to personalize the design, as well as a cedar log wigwam, log seating for the mini-amphitheater, log chairs, natural log building blocks, large log cookie pathways and sensory garden planters.
A large variety of activities are planned throughout the year at the Nature Explore Classroom including birthday parties, stories in the park, tree scavenger hunts, insect hunts, and camouflage adventure to name just a few. The classroom is completely fenced and parents have commented on how safe they feel letting their children play within the area knowing there is only one unlocked gate. Designed for children 2 to 12 years of age with adult supervision, there are boundless opportunities to explore and create in this magical space.