This forest is a special place for children and their caregivers to fully engage themselves in whatever way feels natural to them – it is nature’s invitation to children to dig in the dirt, climb a tree, jump in a puddle, swing from a branch or listen to the wind. Our hope is that all children will learn new ways to see, hear, touch, and feel the amazing world that we live in. There are benefits to playing in nature and this is the place to do it. Discover the natural and created features of the forest, the Little Free Library, StoryWalk® and learn about Lake Wilderness Forest School, an all-outdoor preschool.
It seems logical that what we care about, we take care of. So just imagine if the next generation does not value nature or our natural environment. Will we begin to lose it? Or see exploitation and destruction of it? There is research that shows that an affinity to and love of nature, along with a positive environmental ethic, grow out of children’s regular contact with and play in the natural world. Many believe that positive attitudes towards nature develop sometime during early and middle childhood and requires regular interaction.
The Lake Wilderness Arboretum wants to provide a place where the children in our community can play and interact with nature. A place where children can discover themselves and discover the world around them. A place where they are comfortable and they can appreciate the natural world. A place where they learn to love nature and want to preserve it, instead of seeing nature as something to be dominated and controlled. A positive place where children can develop respect and a caring attitude for nature. And a place where children can also see adults, both parents and teachers, modeling enjoyment of, comfort with, and respect for nature.