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Taking the classroom outside for nature-based learning

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center works to engage, educate and empower Wisconsin youth with the numerous benefits of spending time outdoors. Cara Erickson, marketing and communications manager and Tara Von Dollen, preschool director, joined us to share about the new nature-based preschool the center is opening this fall.

“We’ll spend a majority of our time outside, as much as we can,” Von Dollen said. “And have it be play based as well as an emergent style curriculum. So we’ll kind of follow the children’s lead in terms of what they’re interested in and kind of go from there. [We’ll] make activities that really play off their interests and abilities.”

The ALNC launched a Bridge to the Future campaign to raise money for the new preschool as well as other initiatives happening in the nature center.

“We just built seven new accessible learning labs with both indoor and outdoor classroom space,” Erickson said. “So no longer do children with a physical disability or physical impairment have to leave their classroom to go out to the prairie, they could go directly from the building to the prairie with their class.”

To learn more about the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and the Bridge to the Future campaign, click here.


Samantha Bowers

Host, Midday Madison

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