The Great Indoor Outdoors

Washington County Conservation’s Updated Interpretive Space

As an active campsite and nature preserve, Washington County Conservation keeps its visitors plenty busy with sprawling grounds and beautiful, natural resources. But when the weather turns and the kids still have energy to burn, it’s nice having a place for them to be both entertained and educated.

A replica two-story tree lets kids read or lounge on either level, while built-in interactive components educate them on the type of wildlife that many call a real tree home.

A two-person Predator Challenge game puts a hawk and a field mouse on the left of a board, with each person spinning a dial to see how many spaces and in which direction they can move. If the mouse makes it to its home on the right before being cornered by the hawk, that mouse lives another day and the person wins the game!

While easy to ignore at their typical size, human-sized ants are unforgettable. Visitors can see the world through an ant’s eyes with a mask featuring moving mandibles and a crawl-through anthill.

A battleship-inspired invasive species game pits native fauna against unwanted pests.

A series of magnetic boards where kids can move eggs around the ant colony or piece together different fish based on their descriptions is a great hands-on addition to the space, and a country-scene tabletop, nature toys, and a build-your-own nest station are just some of the wonderful free-play aspects.

The project included creating an interpretive plan, developing content, designing learning opportunities, building custom displays, and installing the final products.

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