Lena Pope Early Learning Center at University of North Texas
Health Science Center

Spring is a time of renewal, and what better way to celebrate the season than by involving parents in planting and planning the Spring garden at our certified Nature Explore Classroom? Our commitment to providing a rich and immersive outdoor learning environment extends beyond the classroom, as we actively engage families in fostering a connection with nature.

One initiative we are particularly excited about is our effort to involve parents in volunteering opportunities centered around the Spring garden. Families have the chance to work alongside their children, planting seeds of knowledge and fostering a love for nature. These volunteer opportunities not only strengthen the bond between parents and children but also instill a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the environment.

To amplify our impact, we’ve partnered with the HSC (Hometown Community) Garden Volunteers. These community members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in local gardening practices, enriching the learning experience for our children. The involvement of HSC Garden Volunteers goes beyond planting and tending to the garden. They actively engage with the children, sharing stories about local flora, explaining the importance of sustainable practices, and fostering a sense of community pride in the natural world.

But our commitment to the certified Nature Explore Classroom goes beyond seasonal gardening activities. Regular maintenance, including grass cutting and cultivating seasonal vegetables, ensures that the outdoor space remains a vibrant and dynamic learning environment. This year, we have taken a step further by adding green privacy fencing to a specific area of the classroom.

The additional green privacy fencing serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it enhances the aesthetics of the classroom, creating a visually appealing and secluded space for children to explore. Secondly, it encourages increased activity in that specific area, offering new opportunities for learning and play. By continually improving and innovating our outdoor space, we ensure that the Nature Explore Classroom remains a source of inspiration and discovery for all.

Our engagement with families and the community is not limited to gardening activities alone. Throughout the summer, we hosted Mother Goose stories, Splash days, and even welcomed Santa and Mrs. Claus to our certified Nature Explore Classroom during the festive season. These events added a touch of magic and wonder to the outdoor learning experience, creating lasting memories for children and families alike.

In conclusion, our initiative to involve parents in Spring gardening activities, along with the collaboration with HSC Garden Volunteers, underscores our commitment to engaging families with nature. By fostering a connection between generations and enhancing our outdoor learning environment, we are sowing the seeds for a future where children appreciate, respect, and actively participate in the stewardship of the natural world. Together, we cultivate not only a Spring garden but a community that values the transformative power of nature in education.