The Nature Explore Classroom at
Chadron State College
Child Development Center
A love for nature and an appreciation for what nature provides each and every day in so many unique and exciting ways.
One of the hopes and dreams of Dr. Kim Madsen, Director of Chadron State College Child Development Center Laboratory, is that children, as well as adults in western Nebraska and around the world, will develop a love for nature and an appreciation for what nature provides each and every day in so many unique and exciting ways. The newly certified Nature Explore Classroom at Chadron State College is helping her achieve that dream.
The CSC Child Development Center Laboratory serves as an educational program for the purpose of “educating educators” who care for and about young children and strives to become a premier program leading the way for new and innovative educational opportunities that promote excellence, excitement and enjoyment in the lives of children, families and future educators.
Areas of the new classroom are divided by natural grass walkways, planting beds. Native trees such as ponderosa pine, linden, prairie hawthorn, locust and crab apple trees were planted to provide shade and protection to the environment. Taller trees are located around the parameter of the classroom. Natural grass plantings of short varieties were strategically planted to be able to see over or through. Perennial plants including lemon balm, sage, Echinacea and little bluestem are planted in the planting beds with room to grow and expand over time.
Display boards and writing surfaces are available for children to use to personalize the spaces with artwork or creations. Clipboards are in each area to support journaling of creative thoughts and expressions. Scarves, baskets, crates, buckets, writing surfaces, containers and other resources are also available.
The CDC Advisory Board, Job Corp students, Staff, Ag/Range students, parents and families, community volunteers, the U.S. Forest Service and many other volunteers helped to create this amazing space.
The new classroom offers interactive elements that give children important and inspiring nature experiences.