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posted: 6/14/2013 9:15 AM

Chipmunk Woods is new nature and outdoor classroom for kids

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  • The last rail goes in at the free-play nature area and outdoor classroom behind Volo Bog State Natural Area's Visitor Center in Ingleside.

      The last rail goes in at the free-play nature area and outdoor classroom behind Volo Bog State Natural Area's Visitor Center in Ingleside.
    Courtesy of Volo Bog State Natural Area

  • A crew works on the free-play nature area and outdoor classroom behind Volo Bog State Natural Area's Visitor Center in Ingleside.

      A crew works on the free-play nature area and outdoor classroom behind Volo Bog State Natural Area's Visitor Center in Ingleside.
    Courtesy of Volo Bog State Natural Area

 
Volo Bog State Natural Area submission

Chipmunk Woods, a free-play nature and outdoor classroom behind Volo Bog State Natural Area's Visitor Center, will celebrate its grand opening in a ceremony from 2:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

Bordered loosely by a split rail fence, the area features whimsical discoveries hidden here and there among native plants planted each spring by area students through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Earth Day in the Parks program.

In Chipmunk Woods, children are invited to explore -- to turn over logs and turn them back, build a fairy village or a fort out of nature's supplies, balance on a log, create their own games, test their strength, discover their own limitations and abilities, ask questions, make observations and share discoveries.

Whether with a guided group or on their own with friends and family, Chipmunk Woods is nature's idea of a playground.

Chipmunk Woods is a joint effort of Volo Bog State Natural Area, Earth Day in the Parks, Friends of Volo Bog, the Bornhoeft Family of Green Oaks, Volo Bog SNA Volunteers, and Eagle Scout Sam Gibson of Woodstock.

Under Gibson's coordination, 20 Scout family volunteers installed nearly 1,000 feet of split rail in one day to define this outdoor classroom.

For more information about the grand opening, or to learn how you can help the facility grow, contact Natural Resources Coordinator Stacy Iwanicki at dnr.volobog@illinois.gov or (815) 344-1294.

Volo Bog State Natural Area is an IDNR site in Ingleside on Brandenburg Road, west of Route 12 between routes 120 and 134.

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