'White Rock Woods' Play Area

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” 

Harry Edwards

Connecting Kids with Nature in ‘White Rock Woods'

Open to the public daily, dawn to dusk. Parking available at 66 March Hill Road, Alstead, NH 03602

Antioch University New England professor David Sobel and his 'Place-based Education'  class designed and built the first few elements of the Nature Play Area  at Distant Hill Gardens in April 2013. It is in a section of the property we call 'White-Rock Woods'. It got its name from the native white quartz rocks that can be found throughout the 21-acre property.

Unlike traditional playgrounds, nature play areas are outdoor spaces made of natural components such as bark, logs, plants, earth, rocks, and trees. They give children the chance to problem solve through unstructured play and exploration. A natural play area is also meant to reflect a local sense of place, one of the objectives David Sobel's 'Placed-Based Education' class. 


In David's words:“Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their communities, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens.”

 (Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities, 2004)

White Rock Woods Nature Play Area is located next to our new accessible half-mile long Nature Trail.