Made Possible by Falls of the Ohio Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation, Mark Wood, and Irving Materials, Inc.
During a ribbon cutting ceremony with community leaders, students, and supporters the Falls of the Ohio Foundation opened a new outdoor classroom at the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
The Outdoor Classroom was designed to create a dedicated space for learning in a natural environment that connects visitors, school groups, and others to the Falls of the Ohio’s unique landscape and historical significance. This natural learning space is covered by the forest’s tree canopy at the Falls of the Ohio State Park and includes sourced-from-the-Falls large driftwood logs for seating, as well as a limestone boulder arrangement for exploration and fossil identification.
This new learning venue within the State Park connects to the existing Woodland Loop Trail and provides visitors with a quiet space to learn about the Falls’ rich history including its exposed Devonian-era fossil beds, the mammoth and bison that crossed the Falls on their migrations, the indigenous people who settled here, the landscape’s connection to the Underground Railroad, and the start of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
The Outdoor Classroom was made possible through the generosity of the Duke Energy Foundation, Mark Wood, Irving Materials, Inc., and with support from the Falls of the Ohio Foundation, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and Falls of the Ohio State Park.
“We’re thankful for the supporters and partners who made this project possible,” said Kenton Wooden, executive director of the Falls of the Ohio Foundation. “There is no other place in the world like the Falls of the Ohio – that holds this much natural, cultural, and historical significance – and it is right here in our community. This new outdoor classroom will help connect the Falls’ rich history, and the stories of our past, to the thousands of visitors that come here to learn and experience this special landscape.”
“This unique outdoor classroom allows visitors to connect with the history of the Falls and native people that called this place home,” said Lisa Huber, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy in southern Indiana. “The outdoor learning experience also provides an opportunity for lessons about the important role that conservation plays in the environment.”
“The future of our state parks lies in the experiences visitors have at our sites today,” said Terry Coleman, Director of Indiana State Parks. “It is our honor to introduce students, families, and all guests to the history, science and stories that connect us to the land. And we are thankful for partners like the Falls of the Ohio Foundation and Duke Energy who help us bring those experiences to life.”
Visitors are encouraged to the visit the Falls of the Ohio State Park to experience the new outdoor classroom, which is now open for programs.