Mountain Area Child and Family Center
Mountain Area Child and Family Center, located in Asheville near the campus of Warren Wilson College, features a large, professionally designed and installed outdoor learning environment.
Building on the existing framework, the design for best practice includes widening pathways, installing perennial vegetation along fences and between settings, adding storage, and modifications to existing features that improve functions. Many of these additions were accomplished, including installation of a grass maze, planting of blueberry shrubs, removal of old structures, and rejuvenation of raised vegetable gardens.
The vegetable gardens are used in combination with the school menu to increase children’s exposure to growing, tasting, and eating their own food. Having created Rainbow In My Tummy®, a child nutrition program focused on the quality of food served to young children, Mountain Area Child and Family Center is well positioned to exhibit connections between eating healthy food and learning about garden production.
In the future, the center will continue to add vegetation and best practice settings to increase physical activity and promote healthy eating habits.