The Nature Explore Classroom at
Hidden Hollow at Heritage Museums and Gardens
Since 2007, dedicated staff at Heritage Museums and Gardens have been working hard to create both a physical space and robust program offerings that serve to reconnect children and families with the natural world. A two-acre, dry, kettle hole-a glacially formed depression common to the Cape Cod geology-was chosen for the site of the new Nature Explore Classroom.
From the beginning of the planning process, the staff team at Heritage Museums and Gardens recognized the importance of creating a space that was not only welcoming and functional, but that would be beautiful as well. After more than a year of planning at the staff level, the museum was pleased to have the opportunity to engage the services of the Julie Moir Messervy Studio (JMMDS).
This site is highly personalized with contributions from many sources including, Heritage staff, the JMMDS landscape design team, local artists, educators, students, families, students and the community. Survey data was compiled and referenced in making many decisions throughout the classroom. Pinecone, acorn and mushroom shapes are used throughout the space in aesthetic and functional ways. Simple action words, hand carved on locust log sections, identify each area and encourage understanding of how each area might be used.
Heather Mead, Director of Education from Heritage Museums and Gardens stated that the positive response of visitors and program participants in the first three months of operation had been simply overwhelming.