The Nature Explore Classroom at
Children’s Discovery Center
Located in Pinedale, Wyoming, the Children’s Discovery Center (CDC) is located just 90 miles south of Yellowstone National Park, and is surrounded by 3 mountain ranges; Gros Ventre Range, Wyoming Range and Wind River Range. Built in 1997, the CDC offers a unique all-day, preschool program for children, ages 2-5 and is the only non-profit preschool program that offers a Summer Program.
In 2012, funding was received in order to build a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom and in 2018 officially became certified. A big thanks to Encana, Shell and the Wyoming Community Foundation for funding of this classroom. The outdoor classroom includes: An Entry Feature, Music and Movement Area, Nature Art Area, Lower Messy Materials Area, Upper Messy Materials Area, Sand Area, Dirt Digging Area, Water Area, Tee Pee Area, Gathering Area, Bike Area, Climbing Area, Building Area, Action Area, and 2 greenhouse spaces (Growing Dome and Hoop House). The CDC believes nature should be an integral, joyful part of children’s daily learning. Natural open-ended materials allow children to use their creativity, imaginations and initiative.
Just before the Summer Program and after most of the snow melts, the CDC hosts different events to encourage our parents and community members to volunteer on-site with clean-up and maintenance efforts and planting/gardening in both of the greenhouses and other gardening spaces. The students at the CDC are actively engaged in all stages involved with gardening in a subalpine climate between the months of March to October. From prepping the soil, choosing seeds, planting, watering, and tending, the students are hands-on; the full circle completed with them harvesting and eating the crops in the kitchen classroom during breakfast, lunch and snack times and also bi-weekly cooking classes. Additionally, students attend the local Farmer’s Market each week during the Summer months selling produce and various items.
Activities held in the Outdoor Classroom in our Summer Program include outdoor yoga and gymnastics, water slides down the action area hill, and much more! Guest speakers also come each week to enrich the lives of our students based on their skills and our weekly themes. Speakers include Wyoming Game and Fish, Teton Raptor Center, Big Piney Rock Shop, U.S. Forest Service, and many more. During the winter months, activities change. Students are responsible for shoveling snow off of sidewalks, ski attachments are added to bikes to continue biking in the snow, and the Action Area hill is turned into a sledding hill.
Different events are hosted at the facility/Outdoor Classroom such as an Open House and Harvest Festival which are both open to the public. Some other annual fundraisers are: Day/Night Golf Tournament, Harvest Festival, Wreath Fundraiser, Canvas Silent Auction, and a Touch-A-Truck event.
The CDC is grateful for the annual financial sponsors that assist us with our program’s needs: Wyoming Community Foundation, Wyoming Arts Council, Sublette BOCES, Rocky Mountain Power Foundation, Pinedale Lion’s Club and the Sublette County Recreational Board.
454 East Hennick Street
Pinedale, WY 82941