"If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow."
Thanks to a generous grant from the Gray Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, Nearby Nature has developed a Learnscape at the site of the Alton Baker Park Host Residence. Our Learnscape is a model for sustainable living practices as well as an outdoor classroom. We’ve created user-friendly composting areas and a landscape that facilitates energy and water conservation. We’ve planted gardens that produce food as well as awaken the senses. We've also created nature-themed artwork, outdoor classrooms (the Nest, Hazelnut Hollow, Pollinators Playground, and the Edible Schoolyard), and natural play areas for kids (Nature's Builders Playspace and the Squirrel Kitchen). Our Learnscape inspires curiosity, imagination, and stewardship.
We’re very excited about this project and pleased to be working with lots of community partners as we continue to develop the site, including Walama Restoration, the Seed Ambassadors, the School Garden Project, the City of Eugene, EWEB, the North American Butterfly Association, the Native Plant Society, the Master Gardeners, and more. Let us know if you want to get involved!
For upcoming Learnscape work parties see the Calendar. Work parties can also be arranged for specific groups upon request. For additional Learnscape volunteer opportunities, such as building and art projects, see Volunteering.
Lessons in the Learnscape: Sustainable Living Workshops
Join us for Lessons in the Learnscape. Composting, natural playspaces, organic gardening, low water landscaping, drawing, and wildlife habitat enhancement are just a few of the topics we have covered through these workshops in the past.
Workshops are on-going and are offered as staff members are available. Thanks to the Jill Heinman Vision Fund of the Oregon Country Fair for providing grant support for this project's original workshops. For more information about upcoming workshops click here.
Grand Opening Photo Album
Click here to see photos from our grand opening on August 22, 2009!
Water Wise Demonstration Garden
Back in 2008, EWEB and the City of Eugene decided to create a “water wise” demonstration garden. The goal of this garden would be to showcase a variety of tools community members could use in their home landscapes to reduce water use without sacrificing beauty. After consulting with a variety of people interested in the project, Nearby Nature’s front yard was selected as the site for the garden.
Working in collaboration, the City of Eugene, Nearby Nature, and EWEB, in partnership with Schirmer Satre Group and LandCurrent, finished this garden in the summer of 2011. Of course, all gardens are an on-going labor of love, so the Water Wise Garden will change and grow over the years. Come check it out! You can also watch a video describing the garden by clicking here. Click here for directions to our site. (Note: Please respect the privacy of our resident Park Hosts when you view the site.)