PreK-12 Program Updates

Nature preschool excursions

What happens when children’s interests drive education? Merry Lea’s Nature Preschool could offer plenty of examples. In one case, it all began with dinosaurs.

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Nature preschool explores all weathers

Four days a week at noon, a small caravan leaves from the Farmstead Barn. There are two wagons, three teachers and a gaggle of 14 preschoolers wearing matching backpacks and rubber boots. The children take turns pulling the wagons which carry supplies for the day.

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Merry Lea prepares to host nature preschool

This September, a forest clearing near Merry Lea’s Kesling Wetland will be home to a nature preschool four days per week. Tree trunks will serve as seats and an open shelter will keep off the rain.

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Indiana Educators Visit Southern Forest Schools

Carol Good-Elliott and Katie Stoltzfus of Merry Lea’s Environmental Education Outreach Team spent February 7 and 8 visiting Kinderforest programs in Tennessee and Georgia.

They joined 10 other educators in the region for the trip which was organized and funded by the Dekko Foundation, Kendallville, Ind.

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Merry Lea’s Kinderforest Spreads to Goshen

Children at the Goshen College Lab Kindergarten are now participating in monthly kinderforest sessions similar to those that happen at Merry Lea. Members of Merry Lea’s Environmental Education Outreach Team collaborate with the kindergarten teachers. The sessions take place in the college’s Witmer Woods.

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Merry Lea staff members light lanterns in preparation for the Enchanted Forest.

Enchanted Forest Allows Native Species to Tell Their Stories

The Enchanted Forest at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, Wolf Lake, Ind., makes Northern Indiana a bit more magical each autumn. The nature center offers children and their favorite adults a night hike where animals talk. Friday and Saturday October 26 and 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m. are the 2018 dates.

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Kinderforest in Review

On May 9, Merry Lea’s Environmental Education Outreach (EEO) team wrapped up its first year of Kinderforest in a long-awaited burst of greenness. For a full day every month, two classes of kindergartners from Wolf Lake Elementary School, Wolf Lake, Ind., traded desks and bulletin boards for tree trunks and the crunch of leaves underfoot.

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Kinderforest Survives a Rainy Day

“We are trying to bring a new deliberateness to which programs we are running when and for whom,” says Marcos Stoltzfus, director of Merry Lea’s Environmental Education Outreach Team (EEO). “We’re asking ‘Who really is our audience?’ and ‘How do we most effectively impact them?’”

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Kinderforest: New Explorers Discover Merry Lea’s Trails

Jodi Jordan, a kindergarden teacher at Wolf Lake Elementary School is prepared to spend time in the woods. Maybe even roll in the mud. She’s been through several days of Kinderforest training and practice at Merry Lea, she’s got her Frog Toggs® and she’s got a boatload of enthusiasm.

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