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Our Roots

How We Got Here

In 2014 I had a vision to create a community center that was accessible to all; regardless of ability to pay. I saw a space that was warm and welcoming, offering places for people to connect over a cup of coffee or a shared passion. I saw mothers being supported in every stage of motherhood. I saw kids making friendships that would last a lifetime. I saw families being upheld by their community in good times and bad.

 

At the time, this was just a pipe dream. Something I desired so badly to put into the world, but I honestly didn't think it would ever come to fruition. But fast forward to 2018 and something told me to start. It was my husband, in fact. He said, "Why don't you just start your group?" So, I did. 

 

We started small. At that time I'd been homeschooling our kiddos for three years, so my vision for this community had started to shift its focus toward homeschooling families. We started a weekly hiking group in Southeast Ohio and met with other families for nature outings, holiday gatherings, family events, and shared meals.

 

And then, 2020. Like the rest of the world, we were put on hold. We stopped our large group hikes, but continued hiking with a small group of our close friends. I kept dreaming and envisioning. Toward the end of 2020, I knew it was time to move forward again. 

 

In January of 2021, after spending November and December finding likeminded families, and against popular opinion and advice, I put together our first nature outing as the newly re-formed Sycamore Art + Nature group. We experienced exponential growth and were on a waiting list for a second nature group by April of 2021. By June, I knew there was more. I knew it was time to take that last leap of faith.

 

My husband and I signed the lease on a building for Sycamore and began the first month of intense construction to finally make this dream a reality. When I say it was a labor of love; with blood, sweat and (lots of) tears, that's an understatement. 

We opened the doors to our first Sycamore classroom day on September 7, 2021, and we haven't been off of a waiting list since! This group is more than anything I could have ever imagined. The families that make-up this community are life-giving, selfless, nurturing, generous, talented, and awe-inspiring. I am humbled and grateful. I am honored at what all of us have created, and I cannot wait to see where we go. 

 

With the most sincere heart and gratitude,

Anya