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Opening Celebration at Regenstein Learning Campus at Chicago Botanic Garden

Regenstein Learning Campus - Blog Featured Photo

A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to attend a preview of the new Regenstein Learning Campus at the Chicago Botanic Garden. It was a spectacular day at the garden filled with the flowers and foliage of summer.

Chicago Botanic Garden - Bright Garden Scene - Blog Photo

After spending the morning ogling buds, blooms, and bark, I headed over to the seven-acre Regenstein Learning Campus.

Regenstein Learning Campnus - Redbuds - Blog Photo

Seventy redbuds have been planted around the campus. Imagine the scene next spring when their leafless branches are lined with  showy pink flowering jewels.

Eileen Prendergast, Director of Education, took a group of garden writers on a tour of the Nature Play Garden. “The best part of the garden is watching kids using the space,” Eileen shared.

Kids rolling down the hills - Blog Photo

The rolling hills call out for kids to run, roll, or somersault up and down each and every one of them.

Willow Grove Construction - Blog Photo

Regenstein Learning Campnus - Willow Grove - Blog Photo

It will only take a couple of years for the willows to completely cover the structure in the willow grove, providing secluded tunnels to run through and a circular inner room for all kinds of imaginative play.

Kids running on stumps - Blog Photo

Jump from stump to stump on your way to huge tulip poplar trees that have been hollowed out so kids of all ages can crawl through or climb on top.

Mike Nowak playing on tulip poplar tunnel - Blog Photo

Yup, that’s Mike Nowak, author, environmentalist, and radio host, joining in the fun.

Hornbeam Room - Blog Photo

The hornbeam room is a lovely space to sit and enjoy the sound of rustling leaves as breezes move through them.

Regenstein Learning Campus - Runnels- Blog Photo

Who doesn’t like to play in water? Take off your shoes and walk in the runnel or splash in the fountain.

Back inside the Learning Center, we visited the space where three and four-year-old children will attend preschool. The curriculum is nature and play-based – about 50% of their school day will be spent outside.

Regenstein Learning Campnus - Magic Board - Blog Photo

The building is filled with classrooms for programs of all kinds and for all ages. Drew Wehrle, Coordinator of School Field Trips, demonstrated the super cool ‘magic’ board – one in each classroom – that supplements hands-on instruction. These computers + televisions + chalkboards will impress even the techiest techies.

Regenstein Learning Campnus - Kitchen - Blog Photo

In the kitchen classroom, kids and adults sharpen their culinary skills.

Kleinman Family Cove - Blog Photo

Children learn how flowers grow in the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden and about frogs and other aquatic plants and animals at the Kleinman Family Cove.

Regenstein Learning Campus - Featured Photo

The Opening Celebration of the Regenstein Learning Campus is this Saturday & Sunday, September 10 & 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Take your kids, grandkids or yourself and check out this exciting new addition to the Chicago Botanic Garden. The staff is very excited to share it with you. Their pride is obvious and well-deserved.

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