The Nature Explore Classroom at

Kokomo-Howard County Public Library

The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library is all about learning and providing opportunities to explore, so having the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at our location in Russiaville is a perfect fit. It creates an additional avenue for early childhood learning.


Before or after play, we encourage people to go inside the library to find materials to supplement their children’s experiences. For example, find an interesting bug outside? Check out a book about insects.

While the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is open 24/7, we invite children to check out KHCPL backpacks when the library is open. Backpacks contain items to enrich your child’s exploration: sand toys, binoculars, insect catchers, and more.

Rule No. 1: There are no rules.

Play is based on your child’s imagination. Allow your children to direct their own play experience. It’s okay for them to step off the gravel paths onto the grass. Let them climb. Jump. Touch. Explore. Build. Fiddle with sticks. Most of all, let them get dirty. The Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is the perfect setting for imaginative play, which is a significant building block in cognitive development.

Studies show children benefit a great deal from spending more time outdoors. One reason is that children initiate learning. They try new things. They solve problems. They work at their own pace, yet they are able to learn with others, too. “Ultimately, what any of us learns most deeply is what we have explored “by ourselves” according to Eric Nelson’s book Cultivating Outdoor Classrooms.

We encourage schools to plan field trips to the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom. Call 765.883.5112 to schedule a visit. You can also call that number if you’d like to make a donation, volunteer, or sponsor a special feature, such as additional interactive musical or art pieces.

The Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville was made possible by generous donations and volunteers. It’s truly a community effort. Gene and Wilma Parks bequeathed $13,000 to KHCPL Russiaville. Additional donations included a $15,000 gift in memory of Roberta Lineback, $10,000 from the Howard County Commissioners, a nearly $10,000 grant from Duke Energy, a $500 donation from the Howard County Master Gardener Association, and other private donations, including change collected by Western School Corporation. In addition, KHCPL received in-kind donations of some supplies and labor for landscaping from the Howard County Master Gardener Association, Delphi Electronics & Safety employees, Kohl’s Cares, and Lowe’s Heroes.


315 Mesa Drive
Russiaville, IN 46979