“To provide excellence in outdoor education by linking the unique resources found in both Webb Mountain Discovery Zone and Webb Mountain Park to relevant curricula for the Town of Monroe School System and those of neighboring communities, and to promote exploration and learning in a fun, hands-on environment as a prototype for the Federal ‘No Child Left Inside’ initiative.”
Vision and Strategic Plan:
Based on the opportunities identified by the King’s Mark review and Southwest Conservation study, a vision emerged to establish Webb Mountain Discovery Zone as a resource for outdoor education and prototype for the Federal NCLI initiative on a local, regional and statewide basis.
This growing movement believes that the long-term secular decline in children interacting outdoors with nature (“Nature Deficit Disorder”) may contribute to growing numbers of children experiencing obesity, attention deficit and depression. In part this is a function of the increased proliferation of external, artificial stimuli such as computers, video games, television, etc. In addition, many outdoor venues have failed to adapt accordingly to this new reality and respond with more thoughtful, creative venues to capture the interest of today’s children at an early age.
Toward this end, the family scavenger hunt and interpretive sign system installed throughout the Webb Mountain Discovery Zone were designed with the intent to attract children outdoors at an early age to increase awareness skills when in a natural environment in a fun, hands-on and interactive manner. Embedded just beneath the surface are significant learning opportunities that in turn help to build familiarity with concepts children will be learning in school throughout their education – a theme informally coined “From Diapers to Diplomas”.