The Discovery Museums in Acton have earned a federal grant to
support the development of an outdoor learning center.
It was one of 244 such awards, doled out from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Museums for America program, according to a press release announcing the award, which was given out last month -- pre-government shutdown.
The Discovery Museums will use the $136,275 in grant funding to develop its Natural Connections initiative, which will create an outdoor learning center featuring a fully-accessible tree house, educational programs and exhibits that will connect children and families with outdoor experiences, according to the announcement.
“Children are spending significantly less time outdoors, yet a substantial body of research indicates that children’s activity level, concentration, and creativity are all positively impacted by connecting to nature,” said Discovery Museums CEO Neil Gordon in the press release. “Our objective is to get families outside to play together and to establish and nurture positive “nature habits” that will benefit them for a lifetime. We are deeply grateful to the Institute for Museum and Library Services for providing the resources to kickstart this important project that will have a very positive impact on children and families.”
More from the press release:
The museums will partner with the Massachusetts Audubon Society and others committed to connecting kids with nature to develop the best strategies to engage families with the outdoors. The museums will also work with the Institute for Human Centered Design and its New England Americans with Disabilities Act Center, the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, the Perkins School for the Blind, the Autism Alliance of MetroWest, and the Tree House Guys to develop strategies to make the tree house and the surrounding outdoor areas a delight for kids with physical, sensory, or cognitive issues.