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STLCC-Florissant Valley Child Development Center Named Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom Demonstration Site

October 20, 2008

The Child Development Center (CDC) at STLCC-Florissant Valley has been awarded one of two Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom grants from Dimensions Educational Foundation. The St. Louis Zoo received the remaining grant.

The grant will cover the cost of a designing an outdoor playground and may include such items as a greenhouse, a large play structure, a sandbox, outdoor art area and a garden. It also will cover training for the staff and provide a $3,000 stipend for outdoor equipment.

"We are very excited about being awarded the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom Award," said Mary Krogmeier, director of CDC. "We will be able to expand our outdoor learning environment to our other playgrounds. There were many applications for this funding and we are so proud that we are one of the chosen sites."

The Nature Explore Classroom is a model outdoor classroom that uses research-tested activities to help bring nature experiences to children's daily lives. The project's goals are:

• To create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space that provides the kind of hands-on nature experiences often missing for children in today's fast paced world;
• To create an outdoor play environment that meets all of the standards for safety as outlined by the National Program for Playground Safety;
• To create a community gathering space that can be used for CDC events and ECE student events.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in several weeks.