Thursday, January 23, 2014

Getting Back to Nature Programing

On Monday, I was given the opportunity to lead a nature program at the Goodwin Forest and Conservation Education Center.  The program was my first since leaving the Austin Nature and Science Center and it felt great to be back outdoors with kids.  The program was called Nature's Gifts and it focused on helping kids learn to look and see things in nature.  Thankfully, we had nice weather in the 40's; it was cool but not freezing (the next day it snowed and the high was in the teens).  We looked for signs of animals while playing Native American and sensory games.   We had a group of 11 kids (plus parents) who were very enthusiastic about all the things we saw including birds nests, tracks, chewed hickory nuts, burrows, and other finds.  Several of the kids had attended other Goodwin programs and had things to teach me about Connecticut's woods such as what is a Witch's broom.  In particular, Sam, Sofia, and Peter were already naturalists at heart, and I was happy to share my love of nature and morning with them!

I am very thankful to the Friends of Goodwin Forest Group  for sponsoring the program, making it free to attend, and to Emma Lorusso, Goodwin's Naturalist, for giving me a chance.  I am looking forward to leading my second program on Saturday, Feb 8th, on Dendrology, the study of trees, and it looks like I may become a regular guest leader.

Photos were taken by Lynne Warren.  We also had a reporter from Reminder News, who wrote a super article about our program with more photos!