Create a Children's Nature Play Area
The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Playing outdoors helps children acquire gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination and prevent obesity. Nature Play is a purposeful means of connecting children with nature. It reduces stress, and boosts the cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional development of children. It also informs them about their connection to, and need to care for the environment.
While the Nature Play Area was completed Summer 2022, your donations help go towards our next Phase of improvements to the Aquarium.
The Aquarium was built on a mill site on Yaquina Bay. A plan was made for the former playground along the south nature trail to be replaced, greatly expanded, and pay homage to its historic origins in the timber industry. New facilities, outdoor climbing features, nature play components and interactives engross children in the wondrous outdoors, inform them about sustainable forestry and its ecosystem, and engages them kinetically and educationally with nature.
Children are able to scramble atop - and through - massive logs, climb a tower to view a nest, slide down a mock river chute, and crawl through tunnels to view organisms and forest creatures. The surrounding grounds accommodate seating for parents adjacent to Café seating, and include an estuary viewing deck.
Further down the nature trail, a new outdoor amphitheater facilitates large group seating for animal presentations, where guests of all ages can learn from our animal ambassadors.
Starker Forests, Inc., Jeanette Bertea Hennings Foundation, Sunderland Foundation, US Bank, and several anonymous donors are investing in the Aquarium's new Children's Nature Play Area.
Consider joining them by making a gift of any size to promote nature play.