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Thursday, May 5, 2016

CC-E opens nature learning center

Friday, August 17, 2012

Clay Central-Everly's nature learning center officially opened to the public on Thursday night, after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The center came together after thousands of dollars donated in materials, supplies, and labor, and thousands of volunteer hours donated.
Clay Central-Everly schools cut the ribbon for their new nature learning center Thursday night, opening the space to the public and showcasing the almost-finished area before school begins Monday morning.

The learning center is located right behind the elementary school in Royal, just south of the existing playground. It is primarily finished, though some bigger trees will be added later in the year, and a fence will be installed after that.

"We had a ton of people come and work on it," CC-E Superintendent Dennis McClain said. "We were talking about how expensive it would have been, had we not had so much of the materials and labor donated."

The learning center is geared toward preschool- and lower elementary-aged children, though McClain says that children up through sixth grade will enjoy the park.

"The kids will be able to use a lot of imagination," he said. "They'll love it."

Many parents have already commented on "how nice of an addition" it is.

Children have already begun to enjoy the space. Some have been riding tricycles around the designated area. Many parent volunteers brought their kids with them, who have also pitched in to help by moving mulch and planting flowers.

The final cost of the project is uncertain, as the school is still waiting on bids for the fence.

While it was originally built for the Clay Central-Everly school district, McClain hopes that the nature learning center will be a community park as well.

"We're very appreciative of the community support," he said, "and we're really excited for the kids in the community to get to use it."

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