Woodland Wilderness

28th Aug 2014

Come take a tour of the outdoor nature exploration space called Woodland Wilderness. This amazing new space will give children of all ages pods to explore science, music, art, performance and more!  Donations are welcome at anytime to help maintain the space.  Checks payable to Temple Israel….Woodland Wilderness in the memo line.



Woodland Wilderness Nature Play 
at Temple Israel
I am very excited to announce the dedication of   “Woodland Wilderness” Nature Play.  Woodland Wilderness  will encourage outdoor exploration, various learning environments, and space for families to enjoy year round.
How did we get started?
Johanna Perlin and I met with outdoor classroom expert, Tobey Eugenio, to design a space that would include, music, performance, art, literacy, loose parts building and more!  Tobey designed and created Hidden Hollow at the “Heritage Museum” in Sandwich, Ma. and is also certified by Nature Explore of Nebraska as a designer of outdoor classroom spaces.  I am very grateful for her expertise and donated time to this project.
Why Woodland Wilderness?We have forgotten what outdoor play and exploration is. No more evenings catching lighting bugs or playing yard games with the neighbors. We have observed children who are experiencing a deficit in nature.Creating Woodland Wilderness gives us a place that will help facilitate better social and physical development, improve fitness, motor-skills and well being. Woodland Wilderness will support creativity and imaginative play. We also hope to create a feeling of empathy for nature helping shape the next generation of environmental stewards.

Nature classrooms also help support whole-child development and learning. Some areas include: Critical thinking and problem solving, science, language and literacy, math, visual-spatial learning and construction and engineering skills.

The nature play that children will experience in Woodland Wilderness will connect children with nature through self-guided, informal play.

Woodland Wilderness will also host many family centered activities to enhance our Jewish learning and experiences.

This space will be open for many different play and learning experiences.  Hertz, Ner Tamid, and the Religious school  will be users from the get go!  Erev Sukkot there was a Hertz/Ner Tamid family program  building  rustic wilderness Sukkot.  Many activities take place in the large field area and more specific themed areas are created in the wooded area.

Initial funding for the project was made by the Ridge/Kritz family in memory of Lisa’s father Frank Ridge. My father loved the outdoors and children.  A further connection will be made to honor his great grandchildren, Izzabel and Paxton. Franks wish was to to foster a love of adventure, risk and the outdoors that he so enjoyed.  Some of you know my father went skydiving close to his 90th birthday and wished he could have shared more adventure moments with his precious great grandchildren.  Hertz Nursery School  also made a generous  contribution to the project.
It is my hope that Woodland Wilderness become integrated into our various curriculum and be a daily family destination.
Please like our Facebook page:  Woodland Wilderness for photos and updates on the space!
Lisa Ridge Kritz

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