When Kate Dennis and her husband, Luke, started the nonprofit organization Fort Littlegreen in Stoughton years ago, they wanted to focus on three things: gardening, small animal care and connecting kids to nature.
Since the organization began in 2013, Kate said it has provided a high-class nature education for grade school-age children.
“We realized there weren’t a lot of options for grade school kids in the way of care for afterschool and summer and days off of school,” said Kate Dennis, Fort Littlegreen’s executive director.
“Kids from primarily ages 7 to 12 didn’t have a great spot to fit in.”
Now, the Dennis family hopes to expand Fort Littlegreen to family-owned property in the city of Pewaukee. In late October, the proposal went through a conceptual review stage, which began the process for the youth camp and nature center being approved at a 7-acre site on the east side of Wolf Road, south of Bluemound Road.
Dennis said the outdoor-based program in Stoughton has been “wildly popular.”
“We filled up immediately, and we’ve got a long waiting list here,” she said. “We’re looking to expand here in Stoughton. In the meantime, my family also owns property in (Waukesha County) that has sat vacant for most of my lifetime.”
The project has an estimated cost between $150,000 and $400,000.
“We’d like to move in phases just because we are a nonprofit,” Dennis said. “We’d like to start with just a summer camp over there and have a nice outbuilding that is conducive to about 100 students. We’d also have a storm shelter, so if it’s inclement weather, we’d still have a safe place to go. Other than that, we would like to have a big field for sports.”