Luke Schiller, Heckrodt’s director of education, gives viewers a sneak peek behind the scenes of “The World Above Your Feet.”
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Heckrodt Wetland Reserve began construction for a Children’s Canopy Walk called “The World Above Your Feet” with the hope youth can soon explore a whole new world with a bird’s-eye view, learning to spot the beauty and habits of animals, trees, migratory birds and more.
The Children’s Canopy Walk is being designed to give those with challenges of any kind, from financial to physical, access to this learning opportunity. Here’s a tour of what visitors will find:
The Community Foundation helped convene opportunities for contributors to fund the $180,000 outdoor learning area, which will include a log slide, rope tunnel, huge eagle’s nest that kids can help build, and a treetop platform large enough for an entire class to learn. The project was able to start thanks to grants from the Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation Inc., the Bright Idea Fund, William M. and Sandra M. Rogers Charitable Fund, Sawyer Family Fund, Addis Hilliker Charitable Fund, David H. and Suzanne J. Peck Family Fund and an anonymous fund, all within the Community Foundation. However the revenue from the educational programs at Heckrodt stopped in mid March due to the coronavirus crisis.
“Due to the challenges we are facing during these unique times, the Reserve’s program revenue has suffered greatly. We are completely donor funded and depend on the generous hearts of our supporters to continue the important work of the Reserve,” says Heckrodt development director Chris Langenfeld. “Future donations to the Children’s Canopy Walk education programs will be used to support inspiring activities designed around the wondrous opportunities at the site.”
An elevated boardwalk will be built to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers, Langenfeld says. The height off the ground will seem greater than it is because of sloping ground below, he said, and all building codes and safety requirements for such structures will be strictly adhered to.
For more information about the project, click here.