Edmonton's John Janzen Nature Centre is getting $2.45 million for a new environmentally-friendly roof and an interpretative play area.

The City of Edmonton is contributing $1.1 million to the project, while the federal government is providing $801,277 from its Recreational Infrastructure Canada program. An additional $550,000 is coming from the Edmonton Nature Centres Foundation.

"The construction of a new Children’s Discovery Gallery will allow children to become physically involved with our interpretive material, whether it is climbing a tree, crawling through oversized ground squirrel tunnels or exploring a beaver lodge and habitat," Don Hussey, the vice president of the Edmonton Nature Centres Foundation said in a news release.

"Nature should be hands-on for kids, focusing on learning through play at any time of the year."

The new roof will become a landscape of flowers and shrubs native to this part of Alberta.

The expansion of the centre will be completed by March 2011.