The Nature Explore Classroom at
Pilgrim Heights Camp and Retreat Center
In the fall of 2013, Des340 Design Studio 2 at Iowa State University chose our site as their class project. Twelve students worked on the design under the guidance of their instructor for a semester.
They surveyed the site, researched the Nature Explore concept and requirements and presented their individual plans to our committee. After considering aesthetics and how the plans would enhance the beauty of our site, we then chose the best of their plans in the construction of Pilgrim Heights Nature Explore Classroom.
Regional materials have been used throughout. The entrance feature was designed and built by the Meskwaki High School art students. Our local quarry donated river rock and natural stones. Logs and mulch from our wooded area were incorporated. It was also important to us that the volunteers who mow our property had enough space between the classrooms to mow easily.
This will be the third season for our Children’s Garden. The volunteers have already planted potatoes, onions, and other cole crops. During the summer, the children will spend time in the garden planting, weeding, mulching and harvesting. They will also be planting sunflowers, gourds, vegetables and flowers in the garden and throughout the area. Other popular activities are building a scarecrow, lounging in the sunflower house, growing cucumbers in a bottle, and eating ground cherries. The other areas will reflect the children’s ideas when our Day Camp program begins.
Our outdoor classroom has been started and by the end of the summer it will reflect the children’s wonderful creativity.
3005 E. Avenue
Montour, IA 50173