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Nature Center connects families with environment

By Sarah Read

Members of the Greenville Michigan Homeschoolers joined in the fun during the Nature Discovery Hour at Howard Christensen Nature Center last week and are participating in the Connecting Families with Nature Passport Program taking place county-wide. Pictured: Gavin and Maxwell Vermeulen, Cadence Almas, RuthAnn Nowak, Connor Vermeulen, Emma and Austin Read, Alliyah Vermeulen, John and Eddie Nowak. Photo by S. Read.

Homeschoolers, day care providers and area families assembled at the Howard Christensen Nature Center in Kent City last week Thursday, for a special “Nature Discovery Hour.”
Young naturalists, approximately ages 1 to 9, explored the Red Pine Center, made nature crafts such as cardboard binoculars, listened to an interactive story, sorted stuffed animals into categories of wild and tame, and explored various nature trails. The free event was held from 10 to 11 a.m., July 15, and families were welcome to stay afterward to enjoy sack lunches.

Kathy at the Howard Christensen Nature Center read an interactive nature story to children at their Nature Discovery Hour program, July 15. Photo by S. Read.

Attendees were also able to obtain stamps in their “Connecting Families with Nature Passports,” a county-wide program designed to help families reconnect with their natural surroundings. Sponsored by HCNC and other Kent Conservation District facilities, the passport program helps families track their outdoor and environmental experiences through the course of the year. Along with HCNC, five partner sites including John Ball Zoo, the Blandford Nature Center and the Wittenbach/Wege Agri-science and Environmental Center in Lowell are holding various educational programs throughout the summer to enhance local family experiences with the outdoors. Children also obtain stamps from various stewardship activities at home, such as recycling or starting a vegetable garden, in addition to participating in nature friendly recreation, such as hiking or bike rides on local trails. Children who complete their passports can get a free ticket to an exclusive family event at John Ball Zoo on September 25, 2010. For more information please visit the Connecting Families with Nature webpage at www.kentconservation.org/families.

Trails at the Howard Christensen Nature Center, located on Red Pine Drive in Kent City, are open every day for hiking from dawn until dusk. For more information, visit their website at www.kentconservation.org/hcnc.

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One Response to “Nature Center connects families with environment”

  1. Kathy says:

    It is wonderful to see families get out to discover what the natural world has to offer in the way of beauty, new things to learn, exercise and fun! Two more partner sites in the Connecting Families with Nature passport program are the Bunker Interpretive Center at Calvin College and the Ada Parks Department.




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