Grand Opening this Saturday for Local Daycare’s Native Plant Playscape

Rowe Sanctuary collaborated with Stick Creek Kids to create an outdoor play area benefiting birds and children

The Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary has installed over 500 native plants at the Stick Creek Kids childcare center to provide opportunities for kids to learn and play in nature while benefiting birds and insects. Stick Creek Kids is located at 1401 East Street in Wood River, Nebraska. A grand opening event with tours of the center and native plant playscape will take place this Saturday, May 1, at 11:00am CT and is open to the public.

The project is in collaboration with early childhood development specialists at the University of Nebraska Lincoln Extension, various Nebraska native plant nurseries, and Stick Creek Kids, a new nonprofit in Wood River, Nebraska.

“The completed natural playscape will include a log play area, rain garden, sensory garden, and native plant landscaping around the center,” said Amanda Hegg, Rowe Sanctuary’s conservation program associate. Hegg says that there are stark differences in play value between a conventional playground with turf grass, and a natural playscape that provides a multisensory experience and tools for exploration and creation that can promote psychological and physical wellbeing.

The project supports National Audubon Society’s “Plants for Birds” initiative, which focuses on increasing the amount of native habitat in urban areas as they “provide better habitat for insects and birds by supplying resources they need to survive and reproduce.”

“Rowe Sanctuary is excited to engage the Wood River community with National Audubon Society’s mission to protect birds in both natural and urban settings,” said Hegg.

If you have questions about Saturday’s grand opening event or the natural playscape, email

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