13th Annual Design Institute
Nature Play and Learning Places
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College of Design Summer Seminars Engage POD-Wake Childcare Center

Beginning and Beyond, a POD-Wake Demonstration Childcare Center teamed up with Carla Delcambre, Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Julie Sherk, Associate Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University for their summer seminars: LAR 457: Construction, Materials and Methods and LAR 582 Planting Design Workshop. Beginning and Beyond has focused on renovating their Outdoor Learning Environment based on best practices through the POD-Wake project, supported by the John Rex Endowment.

Keller Williams Workday at POD-Wake Demonstration Centers

Thursday, May 14, was the Keller Williams RED day, a day for all of their staff to offer service to the communities where they live in honor of the founder's birthday. This year Wake County Smart Start coordinated at least 80 volunteers who provided volunteer effort to all 8 POD-Wake Demonstration Childcare Centers. Natural Learning Initiative Staff joined the fun, helping to direct the planting of trees and shrubs and further renovations to the Outdoor Learning Environments at these sites. Learn more in this News and Observer article about the day.


13th Annual Design Institute: The Whole Child in Nature

Designing and programming children’s outdoor environments for play, learning, and well-being

Register Here

Click on the poster to enlarge.

Join us and see how naturalized outdoor environments offer children opportunities to engage with the natural world (plants, animals, rocks, air, water, weather phenomena) through self-motivated free play and learning experiences.

Register Now to Reserve Your Spot

Mecklenburg Regional Symposium

The Natural Learning Initiative at College of Design, NC State University offered a symposium, 
Design for Early Childhood Health and Outdoor Learningto early childhood and associated professionals within and close to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

We explored ideas on how to design, plan, and manage the outdoor environment for early childhood through plenary presentations and hands-on sessions. 

Event details:

  • Date and time: September 2, 5:00pm to 8:00pm and September 3, 10:00am to Noon, 2015