What is Preston’s Place? Preston’s Place is the zoo’s Backyard Native Habitat exhibit. This area of the zoo provides our guests with interactive and educational opportunities to explore nature that is similar to the habitats in our region. Guests are able to learn about the importance of native plants, pollinators, and conserving their own backyard while also engaging in Nature Play and experiencing what the outdoors has to offer. So what is Nature Play? Simply put, Nature Play is any open-ended and unstructured play that takes place outdoors. The sky is the limit with nature play, and it can include anything from cooking recipes in a Mud Kitchen to searching for bugs under logs to building forts out of fallen sticks and branches. It allows children the freedom to explore and be creative while problem-solving and discovering new things in the natural world. Playing outdoors also gives them the opportunity to form a connection with nature that can follow them into adulthood.
What are the benefits of nature play?
Experts agree that there are many benefits to participating in nature play. Some of those include increasing children’s awareness and self-confidence as they explore outside while also fostering creativity as they use their imagination to play. It can also help improve a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive, and social skills through different activities.
What are the goals of nature play?
Our goal is to encourage participation in nature play in order to foster a healthy relationship between humans and nature that is carried into the future.
Does it cost anything?
No! This is a free program being offered to all Lehigh Valley Zoo guests and members.
Want to learn more? Follow these links to connect with more resources about native plants, pollinators, and nature play!
Learn about Elizabeth Sterner’s Girl Scout Gold Project completed in Preston’s Place during the summer of 2023. https://sites.google.com/view/making-monarch-memories/home
Where can you buy plants?
Check out Edge of the Woods Nursery here. https://edgeofthewoodsnursery.com/
Learn about what AZA and Lehigh Valley Zoo are doing to conserve Monarchs https://www.aza.org/safe-species#northamericanmonarch and Song Birds https://www.aza.org/safe-species#northamericansongbirds
Learn more about Nature Play here https://www.aza.org/nature-play