Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Beautiful Day to Walk in Nature: Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous outside.  The forecast for the remainder of the week looked grim, so I decided to take advantage of a lovely morning.  November seems to be an ugh month for schooling.  The upcoming holidays add anticipation to the schedule and everyone is ready for a break.  So, I try to come up with clever ways to learn.  The clever idea for the day was a trip to Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve.

I have been wanting to take the children to Hatcher for a while.  It just never seemed to fit in the schedule.  However, we were going make a go of it.  Our morning lesson had consisted of a Thanksgiving story and a math/art related lesson on shapes in nature.  I used the math/art lesson to segue into our trip to Hatcher.


We stopped by the dollar store and purchased drawing paper and drinks.  Our nature study was going to include an art lesson.  This, of course, thrilled Egee.  She loves to draw and create.  Little Man only draws on occasion, but he did do one drawing.  He was more interested in exploring his surroundings. 

We saw plenty of squirrels and birds.  Leaves were spiraling down from the tops of trees.  We watched them spin like helicopters to the ground.  Little Man searched for turtles in the pond, as Egee drew the landscape.  We let him pick the trail to take and followed.  Hidden treasures appeared around every bend in the trail.  Small ponds, creeks, drainage ditches, benches, gazebos, decks all offered an appeal to him.  Beautiful fall colors surrounded us.  It was hard to believe we were in the city. 

The children and I identified plants during the walk.  We discussed the natural water filtration in the area from the street water run-off.  They learned about retention ponds and bogs.  They noticed the slopes of the land and how the water ran. 

The garden is a lovely getaway that we will continue to visit.  It is a place to step back and enjoy nature for an hour or two.  A true gem in our county!