Learning Through Play
The Anne Springs Close Greenway offers opportunities for children to experience nature with friends, fellow campers and parents or guardians. Children learn through play, and we purposefully design programs to inspire a love for the outdoors while entertaining and educating future conservationists.
Learn more about our playful programs here at the Greenway that are perfect for young minds!
Come play at the Greenway!
The Anne Springs Close Greenway offers opportunities for families to experience the great outdoors through recreation, but...
... what if this whole "outdoor recreation" thing is new to you or your children?
We have a clinic for that!
The Greenway hosts clinics, lessons and classes on topics like archery, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, backpacking and mountain biking. Many of these educational programs are geared toward children, and all of them can be found in our web calendar.
We want visitors of all ages to feel confident and prepared for their next outdoor adventure, and we are here to help you succeed in a fun, relaxed environment.
Get close to nature on the Anne Springs Close Greenway’s 2,100 acres of protected land. The Greenway’s five entrances allow visitors to explore numerous sights, sounds and activities.
Visitors and guests are welcome to explore at their own pace. Learn more about what each entrance has to offer, including points of interest and recommended trails.
The Anne Springs Close Greenway supports conservation and education... but it also supports family fun!
Get close to nature as a family when you participate in one or all of the following:
- Walking or running one of our trail races
- Jamming out at our Summer Concert Series
- Asking for s'more at the Great American Campout
- Shopping one of our seasonal Artisan Markets
Learn more about all of our signature events, and add them to your planner today!
The Anne Springs Close Greenway offers full-day and half-day summer camp options to youth ages preschool through high school. The Greenway's 2,100 acres of preserved land allows for hiking, kayaking, fishing and mountain biking for a unique summer adventure.
For more than 15 years, the Greenway has offered summer camps to the children of Fort Mill, Charlotte, Rock Hill, Indian Land, Lancaster and the surrounding areas. Nearly 5,000 campers come through Greenway camp programs, and many past campers return to work as counselors.
Campers gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to approach outdoor activities on their own or with their families. Campers end the week muddy, tired and full of memories made with new friends in the great outdoors.
For even more fun, please look into our Kids' Night Out, Winter Trek and One-Day Camps.
Our half-day preschool program prepares your preschooler for kindergarten while positively impacting your child's emotional, mental, physical and social development.
The Anne Springs Close Greenway Nature-Based Preschool follows North American Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) Guidelines for Excellence. Both indoor and outdoor experiences are incorporated into the day with a strong emphasis on outdoor exploration.
Decades of research shows that spending time in nature benefits children in the following ways:
- Improved fitness and motor skill
- Supports exploration, discovery and creativity
- Enhances critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- Inspires collaboration
- Reduces stress, anger and aggression
- Creates feelings of empathy
- Supports whole-child development
Little Explorers is a six-week program for children ages 1-3 to experience nature based learning alongside their caregiver. Bring your children to get hands-on with nature through play and exploration! Teacher will lead each program with a theme, song, activity, hike and extension to bring the joy of nature home.
- Geared for ages 1-3, but all ages welcome
- Registration is for the entire six-week session
- Caregivers must be present for the entirety of the time.
- Learn more in our web calendar.
When it's time for cake and games, children tend to be as nutty as chipmunks, vocal as bullfrogs and fast as foxes. Feel free to send them outside to play... with us at the Greenway!
Birthdays are special, and so are the celebrations. We have outdoor birthday parties to suit a variety of ages and interests. Options include:
- I Spy Animals
- Bugs & Beyond
- Creek Hike
- Lead-line Horseback Rides
- Survivor Kids
- Wilderness Challenge
The Anne Springs Close Greenway offers a variety of field trip options for all elementary grades.
Field trips are hands-on, interactive and curriculum-focused for each grade. Groups have the option of taking a field trip to the Greenway or having outdoor education brought to you through outreach programs.
Check out our Field Trip Guide to see what your future conservationist might learn!
The Anne Springs Close Greenway conserves its 2,100 acres of green space, including trails, ponds and creeks. The non-profit organization’s mission is to connect people to nature through recreational and educational activities while fostering a passion for environmental conservation, animal habitat, and protection of natural resources.
The endangered Schweinitz’s sunflowers found in the Anne Springs Greenway's prairie near Adventure Road can only be found in the Carolina's Piedmont region. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the flowers can grow up to 16-feet high, though most healthy examples can grow to approximately 6 feet on charming purple stems.
In 2022, a team of helpful volunteers and dedicated Greenway staff counted 350 Helianthus schweinitzii (Schweinitz's Sunflower) stems on property. The native wildflower is now considered endangered, so the Greenway makes great effort in providing a brighter future for the species.
Keep It Clean
In partnership with the Catawba Riverkeeper, funds were raised to deploy a "Litter Gitter" marine debris collection device into Steele Creek to capture litter before it reaches the larger watershed and further impacts wildlife habitats.
The Greenway also hosts regular cleanups for volunteers to help make a difference. Learn more about volunteering at the Greenway by emailing us about individual opportunities or group/corporate volunteer opportunities.
Leave No Trace
In our effort to not only introduce people, including but not limited to youth, to the joys of outdoor recreation, we also make an effort to educate the community on the importance of conservation. Taking care of nature begins here in the Carolinas, and the best step we can all take is to follow the principles of Leave No Trace.
To Leave No Trace, be sure to plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others. Follow trail etiquette and Greenway rules, and help young visitors learn the importance of conservation.
The Anne Springs Close Greenway is committed to connecting people to nature through recreational and educational activities that foster a passion for the outdoors. Leroy Springs & Company (parent organization of Anne Springs Close Greenway) has been providing recreational and educational opportunities to the community for more than 80 years. The Anne Springs Close Bridge Program, a tiered financial assistance program, provides a mechanism for all members of our community to benefit from Leroy Springs & Co. programs and facilities.
Eligible programs include:
- Anne Springs Close Greenway Membership
- FLYERS Afterschool (K-5)
- Afterschool on the Greenway (K-5)
- Greenway Nature Preschool (3-5 years old)
- Greenway Summer Camps, Camps at Springmaid Mountain & FLYERS Summer Camps
- Seasonal kayak rentals
- Signature Event tickets
- Select Outdoor Recreation Programs
- Other Select Educational Programs
- Field Trips for Title 1 schools