Kick Off: Public Invited to Explore More at Pritchard Park
On Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m., kids
of all ages are invited to help the Town of Chapel Hill launch its new outdoor
learning and play initiative, Explore More at Pritchard Park. The park is located at Chapel Hill Public Library, 100 Library Drive. After
a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees will be able to choose their own
adventure: dig in the dirt, climb around giant stumps, go on an outdoor
scavenger hunt, make a nature craft, look for birds, or just take a walk in the
Explore More at Pritchard Park is an interdepartmental collaboration to activate Pritchard Park through spaces, services, and programs related to environmental education and STEAM learning. It will include a new outdoor natural play area, a collection of nature backpacks for kids and families, a series of environmental programs, and a selection of tools, equipment, and resources for citizen science. Citizen Science is the collaboration between the scientific community and the general public, who collect and share data about the natural world.
To make the initiative happen, staff from a variety of Town departments - Library, Parks & Recreation, Fire, and Public Works - worked with experts from the world of science museums and environmental education, including the named partners on the project, the UNC Institute for the Environment and the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. "This is the type of project that really exemplifies our commitment to collaboration and innovation, as well as the strength of our town/gown partnerships, says Town Manager Roger Stancil.
Purchased in 1988 as a site for a public library, recreation, and open space, Pritchard Park today has a well-used network of trails across its rolling, forested terrain. “Chapel Hill is fortunate to have this beautiful park land in the middle of town. It’s a terrific resource for STEAM learning and nature-based, experiential outdoor play,” says Meeghan Rosen, Assistant Library Director and Explore More project manager.
This project is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-17-0034-17), and with funds from the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library.