The Crawford Park District has a new attraction at Lowe-Volk Park that is set to give kids that “Wow” factor.
The Learning Tree was unveiled on Monday and opened to the public on Tuesday as a permanent fixture to help children learn about nature in a fun way.
“The idea for something new came up when Josh (Dyer) was talking with a grandfather who had brought his kids out to Lowe-Volk and asked what was new. That started the brainstorming process to come up with something for kids that would be fun and educational,” said Bill Fisher, director of the Park District.
Dyer, who is a naturalist with the district, said he knew the new addition had to be something that went upward.
“We knew we needed to go up because the space inside the building is limited. I gave the concept to Kevin Haring in Mansfield who then designed the tree for us,” Dyer said.
The 17-foot tall tree was constructed by Optic Nerve Art from Columbus and features an eagle’s nest with an eagle replica on order along with a spiral staircase, tree house, instructional flip panels, a sugar maple tap with drip bucket and electronically activated sounds of nature.
“I like the talking buttons,” said 4-year-old N.J. Foy, Fisher’s grandson that has already checked out the tree.
Fisher, who is a retired science teacher, said interactive learning is one of the best ways to educate children.
“We wanted to add something to the park that would not only be fun but would give kids a love for nature and teach them to appreciate the world around them. We want them to learn how to protect their environment,” Fisher said.
The $48,250 project was funded through donations organizations, businesses, and individuals throughout the community.