Nature Discovery Area Opens in the Poconos

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- Deep in the woods behind Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center near Stroudsburg, you'll find a new place to play in nature.

The outdoor space is dedicated to 14-year-old Lilliana Denniston, a center member who lost her life due to an illness back in 2015.

"We said we wanted to do something in memory of our daughter who passed away. We didn't know what we wanted to do and when they came up with this idea, we thought that it was just the perfect idea for us," said Sandy Denniston.

The space will be known as "Lilliana's Nature Discovery Area."

Placed at the entrance are the teen's boot prints.

Lilliana's mother Sandy Denniston says her daughter loved nature and the discovery area is a way to honor her.

"This is going to be around for generations and generations to come. When people come out, the first thing they will see is Lilliana's name on the sign. It's like spreading her joy and kindness towards others and her joy of nature to everybody," said Denniston.

This is the first nature discovery area in Monroe County. This nice thing about it is that it introduces both kids and adults to nature and all that is around them.

East Stroudsburg University students helped build and design the discovery area.

Visitors can dig for fossils in a sand pit, build a shelter out of sticks, and even take a make-believe ride in a canoe.

"There are several elements in here that children and adults can check out and lots of really cool stuff for them to explore in a safe and natural place," said Karen Boyle, environmental educator.

Lilliana's Nature Discovery Area is free to the public. It's open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

For more information, click here.