The Nature Explore Classroom at
Geist Christian Church
The opportunity to live in the city of Fishers, Indiana has provided our community with many privileges. Fishers was named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce community of the year in 2016.
Urban sprawl has resulted in houses and buildings being constructed all around the church. The Geist Christian Church Weekday Ministry property is unique in our fast-growing community as it has retained a natural prairie. The partnership that the church and school have shared played an integral part in keeping the grounds in its natural state.
The natural prairie is bordered by a large creek with mature trees and rolling hills. Many native plants and flowers flourish on the grounds. large playgrounds, and rolling hills. A butterfly garden is maintained to attract insects that can be viewed for everyone’s enjoyment.
A playground above the prairie is positioned to take advantage of the natural surroundings. The area includes space to ride wheeled toys or play on modern playsets. This affords students opportunities for children to exercise in fresh air environment that leverages the aesthetic beauty of the area. The playground also has areas to practice art skills. Hanging chalkboards are used for drawing and creating pictures.
The entrance to our outdoor classroom includes an arbor made from fallen tree limbs from the surrounding area. A path from the arbor leads to a large classroom space next to the creek. Along this path, you will find balance beams and other activities for children to use.
The prairie path carves its way through the surrounding land providing additional outdoor classroom opportunities. Natural grasses and flowers line the path for viewing pleasure. Also, many animals, including deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and birds make their home on the prairie.
Two areas were created to enhance the outdoor prairie classroom. A large green space was created for messy material building and group activities. Also, a nook was created in the woods called the Hidden Hollow to take a class to read books. Both areas are favorite places for the children and enhance their overall learning experience.
Another part of our outdoor classroom space has raised garden beds. The fruits and vegetables grown in the garden are donated to a local food pantry.
Next to the garden is the music area. Permanent instruments can be found in this space for use in musical education, as well as instruments students bring outside with them to use.
Lastly, events are scheduled throughout the year to maximize the natural environment. An annual Fun Walk/Run is conducted that includes all members of the school families. A yearly concert is performed with local bands that use the prairie as a backdrop for church and school families. Various other events are scheduled throughout the year that encourages parents to visit their children in the classroom.
A commitment to continuing the good works of the church and school is in place preserving a piece of the natural environment for future generations. Through a concerted effort, the prairie will remain in its unaltered state.
12756 Promise Road
Fishers, IN 46038