I am always excited about opening up our outdoor experiences, but especially so this spring with the unveiling our new Fort Hoosier at Treetop Outpost, Nature Amphitheater Stage and River Overlook.  Fort Hoosier is the newest addition to our popular Treetop Outpost area. Drawing inspiration from a wilderness outpost, this all-new play structure is a place where kids and families can unleash their wild side and be active while enjoying nature. Children can climb, slide, crawl, and enjoy one of our rotating activities like the Sound Cannon or a signal light for sending coded messages. This new addition is made possible due to the generosity of Hagerman Construction and our many generous supporters.
Our visitors will also experience new areas and activities that begin to focus on two of our greatest assets - our land and the White River. Nestled in the trees beside Treetop Outpost is our new Nature Amphitheater Stage. This 50 seat outdoor amphitheater will feature a covered, raised stage for nature chats, performances and storytelling that highlight the richness of the natural world around us. Just around the corner is Conner Prairie’s new White River Overlook, which will offer an unprecedented view onto the river as it concludes its graceful bend around our prairie. Interpretive signage will highlight the history and ecology of the waterway, allowing us to tell several chapters in the story of the White River a lifeline in our community’s past, present and future.
These new areas are yet another way that Conner Prairie is committed to directly combatting what is known as Nature Deficit Disorder. Children today are spending less time outdoors causing adverse results ranging from attention disorders and depression (leading to lower grades), to obesity and a disconnection and lack of respect for immediate natural surroundings. Studies show that exposure to the outdoors and nature has positive effects on everything from the child’s attention span to stress reduction to creativity, cognitive development, and their sense of wonder and connection to the earth.
So this spring bring your children and grandchildren to unleash their wild side at Conner Prairie and let them climb, slide and crawl through our fun wilderness outpost, and walk, listen and learn about nature and the river. Who knows, if you do then maybe you will rediscover that inner “wild child” too.