2022 is shaping up to be a big year for the Wesselman Woods. First of all, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Evansville nature preserve. 2022 will also include an expansion to their brand-new Welborn Baptist Foundation Nature Playscape - in fact, work has already begun on the expansion project.

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What is the Nature Playscape?

The folks at Wesselman Woods realize that not all kids will enjoy a simple walk/hike through nature. Sometimes kids need something to do - something to keep their interest - and that's what the Nature Playscape can do. As the name suggests, it allows young people to play out in nature. It provides a landscape full of things that kids can't resist, like rocks, water, and fallen logs. The Nature Playscape is just over three acres, which makes it one of the largest in the country. This map of the current Playscape gives you a better idea of what it has to offer.

What Does the Nature Playscape Expansion Include?

  • An additional two acres of forest
  • Additional trails
  • Nature play areas
  • A bird sanctuary
  • A redbud tree tunnel
  • Converting a former creek bed into a dry creek bed ecosystem
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The mission with this expansion, and with these installments, is to "promote more harmony with our human guests and local wildlife." Wesselman Woods says they estimate that work on the expansion should be complete by May 2022.

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Admission into the Nature Playscape is just $3 for ages 3-12 and just $5 for ages 13 and up. Keep in mind that Wesselman Woods is a non-profit organization, and although their properties are owned by the City of Evansville, Wesselman Woods is responsible for just about all of the operational and programming funds. You can always save some money by becoming a Wesselman Woods member. Membership includes the following benefits...

  • FREE admission to Wesselman Woods Nature Center, Preserve, Nature Playscape, and Howell Wetlands
  • 10% off merchandise
  • Discounts and early access for our annual events, classes, and camps
  • Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA) Reciprocal Membership Privileges at nature centers across the United States
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Visit WesselmanWoods.org to see the different levels and pricing for memberships.

Beautiful Nature Photos from Shawnee National Forest Will Make You Want to Visit Southern Illinois

Take a virtual hike through the area between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers known as the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois with these stunning photos featuring Garden of the Gods, Tunnel Hill, Giant City Park, Cave in Rock, and more.