Hamilton County Parks and Recreation (HCPR) has officially introduced its latest educational resource – an enclosed trailer that functions as a nature center on wheels. Thanks to funding provided by the Duke Energy Foundation, the unique project was put in gear back in 2017, but temporarily stalled during the pandemic. Mark LaBarr, Government and Community Relations Manager for Duke Energy was instrumental in securing a portion of the funds in the early stages of the project that contributed to the purchase and complex interior build-out of the trailer. The 34’ long trailer was officially introduced to the public at Cool Creek Park, during the parks department’s final concert of its summer concert series in the park. Mr. LaBarr, who attended the trailer’s launch ceremony, says that he is pleased that the trailer will advance the S.T.E.M. and environmental education initiatives established by Duke Energy, intended to benefit the entire community.
HCPR Parks Director Chris Stice states “This trailer will allow our Superintendent of Natural Resources and Education, Amanda Smith and her staff, to literally take the highly regarded Cool Creek Nature Center nature education programming on the road.”
Aptly themed “Be Naturally Curious!”, the trailer not only offers park staff the ability to engage visitors of all ages walking through its interior “learning space,” but also features a large stage deck that lowers, permitting educational and entertaining presentations to be made to large groups in an outdoor setting.
Both the interior and exterior graphics of the trailer were designed to serve as an extension of the nature education programming by inviting interactivity, whether parks staff is present or not. The challenging application of the vinyl graphics to the entirety of the trailer’s surfaces was undertaken by Vector Sign Solutions, a local sign resource, located in Noblesville, Indiana.
The Be Naturally Curious trailer will be utilized at county parks events throughout the year. Details regarding its “tour schedule” will be found online by visiting the parks department’s web site at MyHamiltonCountyParks.com or on Hamilton County Parks facebook page or by calling 317-770-4400.