The Nature Explore Classroom at

Scott County Family YMCA

Palmer Learning Center


Deb Gustafson, Executive Director, states, "We believe the best part of our playground is that it encourages children to play and explore. It is wonderful to see the amazement in their eyes as they discover nature and explore textures in our world!"

Thank You notes were created for funders this year. When teachers asked the children what their favorite activity at school was - over 40% of the students indicated playing outside in the playground was their favorite activity! There are so many things to with the large variety of areas that the children are always busy. As the seasons change they are able to explore leaves, berries, grasses, bugs and plants that are all a daily part of the playground.

This past year a salsa garden was planted with the help of children and local area volunteers. Everyone took turns weeding, harvesting and then creating classroom treats with the vegetables. So many vegetables were grown that the Learning Center was able to share the abundance with the families as well.

Recently the United Way helped to make connections with Busch Construction and a local labor union to design and construct a stage. The children are excited about the opportunity to put on performances for each other and their families.