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Howard County breaks ground on outdoor exploration space for kids

Ken Ulman

At Columbia's Robinson Nature Center, the outdoors is about to get a lot more interactive.

Howard County's Department of Recreation and Parks announced Wednesday that it has broken ground on a new outdoor space for children "specifically designed to spark their imagination," according to Stacey Yankee, the center's director. 

The "Nature Place" will feature eight different sections with themes such as sound, art and physical activity. Marimbas, winged chimes, dancing scarves, playground equipment and a "messy materials" section are all listed as resources for the new space on the park's final concept plan. 

Yankee said the park was designed to enable children to "explore and engage with nature.

“Unlike our trails and gardens, which offer passive enjoyment of nature, the [Nature Place] engages visitors in music-making, performance, nature art, climbing, crawling and more," she said. 

County Executive Ken Ulman called the project "a commitment to educating our younger generation about environmental sustainability and responsible stewardship.

"The area will encourage kids to get outside and explore all that the great outdoors [has] to offer," he said in a statement.  

National outdoor classroom development nonprofit Nature Explore designed the project, which the county is hoping will be boosted by community donations to help purchase benches, toy blocks, musical instruments and other equipment. For more information, go to howardcountymd.gov/RNCNaturePlace.htm.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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