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Nature-based Learning Outdoor Classroom

Support Outdoor Classroom

Make a gift in honor of 
Peggy Small-Porter

COMING in 2023 --- from the vision of Peggy Small Porter, longtime executive director of the Richie McFarland Children's Center, and through the unwavering support of a group of staff and community members, comes a state-of-the-art outdoor learning environment for children of the Seacoast. 


Exciting things are happening inside—and outside—at Waypoint at The Richie McFarland Center in Stratham! Plans are underway for an outdoor nature-based classroom that will more than double the space available for children and families. We hope to break ground on this project in spring 2023, with our sights set on finishing the space in the fall.


Studies show that children who play outdoors regularly are happier and healthier, have stronger immune systems, and experience improved sleep patterns. Outdoor play and exploration increase creativity, imagination, and a sense of wonder, as well as a child’s ability to focus and pay attention. We also know that children learn by engaging all their senses, and the outside world offers sights, sounds, smells, and tactile experiences that are not available indoors. Positive outdoor experiences also play a part in how children will value and care for our environment throughout their lives.


The Waypoint at The Richie McFarland Center campus in rural Stratham is the perfect location for an outdoor classroom. Here we have abundant outdoor space and gently rolling terrain for features such as water play and other sensory-based stations, a garden, a story circle, wind chime fencing, a gazebo,
and so much more. Thanks to an innovative and accessible design that is integrated into our natural surroundings, the fun of adventure and exploration in the fresh air will entice children of all abilities to play, explore, and learn.


The Outdoor Classroom is the vision of Peggy Small-Porter, long-time executive director of the Richie McFarland Children's Center, now a part of Waypoint.  Peggy's commitment to the health and well-being of children, and to optimizing the chances for children of all abilities  to thrive, is unmatched.  Her leadership and perseverance led to this amazing new initiative that will benefit children in a multitude of ways for generations to come.   In honor of Peggy, please consider making a gift to support the outdoor classroom, by clicking here.

Waypoint Family Support


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