Indian Creek Nature Center

Indian Creek Nature Center’s charming Hazelnut Hideaway flows with the susrrounding landscape located on a tree line between the Nature Center wetlands and Bena Brook.

The location of Hazelnut Hideaway provides natural ambiance and beauty for all. Frogs, turtles and waterfowl make the wetland their home and can be enjoyed from a view at any point in the classroom. Existing trees and branches were deliberately incorporated into the overall design of the classroom. Shrubs, including redbuds and hazelnuts, create a multilayer canopy of changing colors throughout the year. By incorporating nature and taking advantage of the surrounding landscape, each visit provides a different experience.

Guests use the words peaceful, rugged, natural and fun to describe their time in Hideaway due to the natural materials by which it was constructed. Wood and stone are the primary materials in the classroom, along with a few metal items, like copper wind spinners hung in trees and pans, spoons, and shovels used in the Mud Kitchen.

Each element of Hazelnut Hideaway was created to fit in the overall space and reflect a component of nature. This includes the stump spiral and live edge balance beam in Adverturescape, the performance stage made of tree cookies, and materials for block and structure building. In the Natural Art area, the canvas allows mud painting and the Mud Kitchen uses earth and wood for creative play. Landforms in the shape of a snake and turtle were created using earth and were seeded for green scaping. These landforms and a wooden platform serve as a gathering space and art station. All of the trees and shrubs planted in the area are edible and provide shade.

By engaging with and seeking feedback from children, staff, volunteers, and artists, each part of Hazelnut Hideaway is especially unique. Willow structures installed in the spring of 2022 are growing and inspiring imagination play.

Hazelnut Hideaway will continually change based on feedback, the seasons, and the needs of the community. Therefore, it will be a pleasantly evolving project that fullfills our mission to create Champions of Nature.