Erica was the driving force behind the development of the Nature Nook, a nature play area at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center. She worked with studioMLA Architects to design a place where children can build, dig, climb, and lose themselves in hours of imaginative play. The Nature Nook features sand and water play, a grass maze, secret passageways, and an invitation to explore and experiment.
Erica was a key part of managing the Nature Nook as plants became established. She led volunteer work days in the Nature Nook several times per year, making sure invasive plants growing along the edges of the site didn’t get a foothold in the planting beds.
In the warmer months, the Nature Nook is often enjoyed by more than a hundred children per day. Erica spearheaded improvements, including erosion control, replenishing “loose parts” play materials like pots and pans, and coordinating repairs as needed.
Erica also led trainings for Mass Audubon staff as well as teachers from area schools and child care centers. She led the development of Mass Audubon’s statewide guidelines for nature play areas, and was recognized at the statewide level for her leadership.
The Boston Nature Center also has a thriving Butterfly Garden, and like many perennial gardens, it needed an expert eye to restore order. Erica was hired to clear invasive weeds and “edit out” certain plants to restore aesthetic and habitat value. She designed a planting plan to fill in the gaps.
Erica is currently working with high school interns to improve play and learning spaces at the Boston Nature Center. Read more about that work here.