A park focused on hands-on education and interaction with nature is coming to Greenwood.
The city’s stormwater department will have Greenwood’s first ever nature center ready for the public by the end of 2016.
The nature center will feature a small building where children, adults, teachers and students can learn about water sampling.
Outside, a garden will be located next to a small wooded area and Pleasant Creek.
A trail will run through the wooded area along the creek where residents can participate in hands-on learning activities related to nature, stormwater supervisor Randy Weathers said.
The nature center will be developed off of Washington Street near the Greenwood fire and police stations and the community center. The site was formerly used as a location to store equipment and park vehicles for the stormwater department, Weathers said.
The wooded area next to the building will serve as the primary focus of the outdoor portion of the nature center, Weathers said. Residents can learn about tree and plant species and observe bat boxes.
The bat boxes will give residents the opportunity to understand the importance of bats in the environment while educating them on the endangered species that live in Indiana, Weathers said.
Weathers and city officials anticipate a lot of involvement from nearby schools such as Isom Elementary, he said.
“This is an ideal location and we realized it would be a good opportunity for us. Residents — adults and children — can come, and schools can bring kids over.
It’s all about public education of earth sciences,” Weathers said.
The stormwater department is required by the state to perform some type of public outreach and public involvement, and the nature center will accomplish both, Weathers said.
A garden of native plants and picnic tables are part of the plans.
The materials needed for completion of the nature center vary from plants to garden tools, Weathers said.
An exact cost has not been tied to the project, though the stormwater department is seeking a $5,000 grant to help fund some of the minor building renovations and materials needed, Weathers said.
If the stormwater department does not win the grant, the nature center will still be completed as planned by the end of 2016, Weathers said.
The city will be asking for volunteers to help clean the area and set up the center and garden.