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What's Happening in Meridian Township

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Harris Nature Center Receives MParks Award

Post Date:02/19/2019 1:19 PM

Meridian Township Parks’ Harris Nature Center (HNC) was acknowledged for the development of their Nature Exploration Area on February 1, 2019 when they were awarded the MParks 2019 Outstanding Park Design Award at the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference.

Working with the volunteer organization, Harris Nature Center Foundation (HNCF) staff began in 2012 to create a plan for the Nature Exploration Area (NEA), a space within Meridian Riverfront Park, near the nature center building, which would provide children an opportunity for unstructured, imaginative nature play. Meridian Township launched the effort by hiring Viridis Group to translate their ideas into a concept drawing which the HNCF could use for fundraising and igniting community excitement for this project. Six years later, the Township has a quarter-acre nature play area that is enjoyed by 20,000 people each year.

“The best part of creating and building the Nature Exploration Area has been the positive response from our community,” said HNC Coordinator Kit Rich. “It has been gratifying to see visitors come to play in the NEA and then head out on the trails for a walk. This is exactly the result that we were hoping for!”

The Nature Exploration Area includes: 
• Climbable turtle sculpture built by local artist Doug Delind 
• Gathering Circle; a stage with bench seating sponsored by the Haslett-Okemos Rotary Club and Flagstar Bank of Okemos 
• Beaver Lodge designed and built by David Vanderklok of Studio [intrigue] Architects 
• Michigan Fossil Dig and several other engaging features.

“This was a very exciting and successful fundraiser,” stated HNCF President Jim Buscetta. For more information on the HNCF visit hncfoundation.org.

Harris Nature Center Receives MParks Outstanding Park Design Award Press Release February 18 2019

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