Thousands of kids and families in Brevard County, Florida will soon have more ways to connect with nature thanks to the hard work of our crew members who recently volunteered alongside community members to help build an outdoor classroom at the Riverwalk – A Family Park.

The park’s all-new Nature Explore Classroom is like a traditional playground, but is designed for kids and families to spend more time outside together and help develop fine motors skills through art, music, gardening, exploration and imagination, all while using natural materials.

Take a look at our crew members in action.

Crew members from the Disney Fantasy, which was in nearby Port Canaveral for the day, spent hours raking leaves, leveling the ground, and spreading mulch to get the park ready for its grand opening scheduled for later this year. They also worked together to assemble a really cool see-through art easel where park goers will be able to use their imagination to paint the nature they see around them.

I’m always amazed by our crew members. Not only are they dedicated to creating magic onboard for our guests, but they make it a priority to donate thousands of hours of their personal time to benefit worthwhile causes around the world. Sophy, a youth activities crew member, shared with us that she wanted to participate in this Disney VoluntEARS event since she grew up gardening with her mother in South Africa and feels it’s important for families to spend time in nature together.

The Nature Explore Classroom at the Riverwalk – A Family Park was partially funded by a $20,000 grant through the Parks Build Community, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt Disney Company. The Parks Build Community program provides communities with resources to improve local parks through projects that connect children to nature. The Riverwalk – A Family Park is one of 16 grant recipients this year.

Once it’s finished, the all-new Nature Explore Classroom at the Riverwalk will be enjoyed by Brevard County families, schools and community groups – building stronger connections to nature and inspiring future generations of environmental stewards. Research shows that time spent in nature creates smarter, happier, healthier kids and instills lifelong conservation values.*