Most adults of a certain age have childhood memories of carefree days spent playing outdoors-- climbing, digging, collecting, building, and exploring the natural world around them. Unfortunately this is not true of many children today. In fact it is just the opposite. Today's overscheduled kids are increasingly “plugged in” to electronic devices and media and unplugged from the fundamental and formative experience of nature in their own backyard.
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, refers to this nature-child disconnect as “nature deficit disorder.” While research shows that children who spend time outdoors are healthier, more creative, have less stress, experience fewer symptoms of ADD and ADHD, have greater respect for themselves, for others, and for the environment.
At Fern Hollow, one of our main goals and a passion is to reconnect children with nature. When Fern Hollow celebrated our 10th anniversary the Board, staff, members of the community and school personnel developed a long range plan for the center and one of the key components of our future is offering area children and families the opportunity to experience nature through programming and the appreciative use of our grounds. With the addition of the Natural Outdoor Classroom, Fern Hollow will be able to entertain and educate students visiting the center and will also become a destination for families looking for outdoor entertainment for their families.