Zion Nature Center play days encourage families to explore outdoors


By Megan Melton

The Zion Nature Center has scheduled three Nature Play Days to encourage children to enjoy some unstructured fun and learning.

“The hope (is) to just get families and kids out exploring and to see what we have,” said Mindy Murdock, park naturalist at the Zion Nature Center.

The play days are set for 1 to 3 p.m. June 10 and June 17 and 10 a.m. to noon June 11 at Zion Nature Center, 690 Beech St., Zionsville.

The Indiana Children and Nature Network is coordinating Nature Play Days at parks across the state to get children and their families to spend more time outside. Murdock said that the Zion Nature Center is part of a network of parks around the state that make up an association called the Bicentennial Nature Network.

“They reached out to nature centers … so that, regardless of where the children live in the state of Indiana,” Murdock said, “they would still have access to environment education and information.

The activities at the Nature Play Days at the Zion Nature Center are free and will be mostly up to the children and their families.

“We want them to actually do the exploring versus in our traditional program at the nature center where we’re kind of telling them information,” Murdock said.

The Nature Play Days will be held in the outdoor classroom. Here, the center will provide insect boxes, binoculars, pond nets and more for families who wish to participate.

“It’s really going to be just giving them some tools to just go out and to look and see what they can find,” Murdock said.