Tag Archives: Discovery Center

Watch ‘Em Grow Winners!

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Five Southern Hancock students’ creative talents will be on display this year in the fifth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 4 at New Palestine High School.
Katie Taylor, a fourth grader at Zion Lutheran School is the winner of the T-shirt design contest. Taylor’s design will be featured on T-shirts for the event. Second place goes to LeeAnn James, a fifth grader at Sugar Creek Elementary and third place winner is Sarah Maynard, a third grader at Sugar Creek.
Their designs are featured online and will be used in walk/run brochures and on posters for the event.
Essay contest winners are Ireland Crabtree, a second grader at Zion Lutheran School and Drake Shadle, a first grader at New Palestine Elementary.
Check out their winning essays:
By Ireland Crabtree,Second rade,
Zion Lutheran School

We could plant some trees in a park or two. I would help grow gardens in my neighborhood. Instead of riding in a car, you could ride your bike or you could walk. We could grow a vegetable garden and give some food to a food pantry. You need to ride your bike because you don’t need to use gas. We should plant trees because it takes in carbon dioxide. I could have a neighborhood clean up. Reuse old shoes instead of buying new ones. Also you can reuse old backpacks too. We can recycle old cans, bottles and paper.

By Drake Shadle, First Grade,
New Palestine Elementary

I can can help my community grow by picking up trash. Trash can harm animals. Animals can also eat trash and get sick.
I can also help my community grow by recycling. Recycling is important because it saves trees. Let me explain how. We cut down trees for paper. If we throw away paper, that will waste trees.
Giving can also help my community grow. People can donate food to soup kitchens That way people with no food or money could have food.

Following the fifth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run, the new Go Green Discovery Center will be opened. Donate $100 and your name will be listed on the dedication plaque at the center. Email dgriffins@netzero.com for more information.
Send your donation to: Dani’s Dreams
Outdoor Education Center at
Zion Lutheran School
6513 W. 300 S.
New Palestine, IN 46163

Ongrowing Challenge. . .

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Sixth graders at Zion Lutheran School are the winners of the first “Watch ‘Em Grow” Seed Starting Challenge at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Students from Zion brought their seedlings and participated in crafts, took a nature quiz and planted flowers and vegetables in the center’s Community Garden May 5.
Those attending the event also voted on designs and essays for the fifth annual Dani’s Dreams Memorial Walk/Run Aug. 4 at New Palestine High School.
Plans were revealed for the Go Green Discovery Center, funded in part by a Community Development Grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation. Construction on the facility begins in June. The Go Green Discovery Center will open on Aug. 4 with a music festival celebration following the walk/run.
If you would like to be a sponsor and have permanent recognition, donate $100 and you will be listed on the sponsor’s plaque at the Go Green Center. Email dgriffins@netzero.com for more information.

Come Grow With Us!

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center hosted a special thank-you event for Zion Lutheran School students April 19. Hedgehog Hannah brought her educational exotic animal show to the school. Students got an up-close view of a tarantula, ferret, chinchilla and more and learned about their habitats and lifestyles. Dani’s Dreams can design an experience for your class or group in our seven learning centers. Email dgriffins@netzero.com.
Mrs. Deb Weiler’s class at Sugar Creek Elementary received a special delivery April 19: a worm farm for the composting station they will create. The class received a Go Green Grant from Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center and will establish the composting station at the center.
Come, Watch ‘Em Grow and participate in nature in action at Dani’s Dreams Earth Day Dedication Event May 5, 12-2 p.m. at Zion Lutheran School, 6513 W. 300 S, New Palestine.
Join the student-led demonstrations, Be a Dani’s Dreams Nature Detective and win a prize, create crafts, plant flowers and vegetables in the Community Garden and get a sneak preview of the plans and the site for the Go Green Discovery Center to be powered by solar and wind energy and that will feature interactive exhibits on environmental and conservation education.
The winner of the Watch ‘Em Grow Seed Starting contest will be revealed, and vote on drawings for the T-Shirt design contest for the Dani’s Dreams Walk/Run Aug. 4.
Be a part of Dani’s Dreams Team! Dani’s Dreams is open to all classes, Scout Troops and community groups for tours, special events and projects at no charge. Log onto to http://www.danisdreamsoutdooredcenter.wordpress.com or email dgriffins@netzero.com for more information.

Dani’s Dreams – Indiana’s Outstanding Outdoor Lab of the Year Winner

Thanks to all students, teachers, parents, Scout and everyone in the community who has had a hand in keeping Dani’s Dreams alive! The best is yet to come – be a part of it! Here is the official news release from Donna Rogler, Project Learning Tree Coordinator, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry:

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Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center in New Palestine, Indiana at Zion Lutheran School has been awarded the Outstanding Outdoor Lab of the Year for 2011 by the Indiana Tree Farm Committee.
There are numerous opportunities for hands-on exploration, engaging learning and community service through a visit and participation in the activities of Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center. Features of the outdoor lab include: the Discovery Center containing a weather station, experiment tables, shelter with tables for classroom observation, recording and discussion; a tree seedling nursery; a butterfly garden/wildflower area; an archaeological dig area; bird feeders and houses; Indiana native plants and a vegetable garden.
The Dani Griffin Innovation in Education Memorial Fund at Zion Lutheran School began in fall 2007 in celebration of 150 years of Christian education in Hancock County and in response to a need for hands-on science experiences for the 100-plus preschool through eighth grade students at Zion. Currently, the center is free and also open to all area schools and community groups.
For thirty-four years, the Indiana Tree Farm Committee has selected an outdoor lab from throughout the state to be recognized as outstanding. The criteria used by the judges to bestow this award included: having a well-balanced program that goes beyond simple awareness and identification and including consideration of soils, water, wildlife, energy and, of course, forestry, and how these resources can be managed for production, recreation, aesthetics and other benefits. The facility should be used in many different subject areas and at many different grade levels.

Zion Lutheran School will receive two solid walnut plaques, a $500.00 check from the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association (IHLA) and a letter of appreciation from Senator Richard Lugar. The first plaque will be engraved with the name of the school and the second plaque is reserved for the person who has been most responsible for guiding the outdoor lab’s development. The State award will be presented at the annual IHLA convention in February.
For more information on this, please contact Donna Rogler, Project Learning Tree Coordinator, Indiana DNR Division of Forestry, Natural Resources Education Center, 5785 Glenn Road, Indianapolis, IN, 46216 317-549-0354, drogler@dnr.in.gov

Hancock County Students and Teachers: Think Outside the Classroom!

Construction of the Go Green Discovery Center at Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center will begin in spring 2012. But before then, area students have a chance to make a difference in a variety of ways:
• Design The Facility: High School students can submit architectural/design plans to dgriffins@netzero.com or mail to: 6513 W. 300S, New Palestine, IN 46163.
Here are the specifications:
Go Green Center Specifications
The entries will be judged by local professionals and Dani’s Dreams Committee members. Deadline is March 1. The winner will be announced in March and will have recognition in news releases and publicity for the Go Green Center and with a plaque in the facility to be unveiled at the dedication August 4, 2012.

•Be a Dani’s Dreams Ambassador: High school students/cadet teachers:
Volunteer as a tour guide or visit classrooms and create and conduct classroom presentations.

• Hancock County teachers can sign up their students as reporters and anchors for Dani’s Dreams TV, conducting research and compiling multimedia reports on environmental issues answering the questions “What Can I Do?” “How is It Made?” and “How Does It Work?”. The reports will be shown on a solar-powered TV in the Discovery Center and on this website.

•Be a designer/graphic artist: Every aspect of the Outdoor Education Center will be explained inside and outside with signs explaining the irrigation system, solar and wind power, identifying plants and trees.
Inside the Go Green Center will be interactive solar and wind energy experiments – powered by solar/wind energy and rotating exhibits on seed growth (germination), farming, ecology, water conservation, soil erosion and photosynthesis explanation and displays written and designed by Hancock County journalism/desktop publishing students.

EMAIL Dani’s Dreams Outdoor Education Center Director Donna Griffin at dgriffins@netzero.com or call her at 317-640-4430 for more information or to schedule a presentation to your school district, Chamber of Commerce or organization.

The Go Green Discovery Center is a 2011 Recipient of a Community Development Grant from the Hancock County Community Foundation and is also sponsored by the Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District.