>> Sunday, June 6, 2010
My kids and I love going to the Nature Center! It is loads of fun. They have five areas that we really love.
1. The Nature Center Building
2. The Play Area (very muddy)
3. The Hiking Trails
4. The Ponds and Creeks.
5. The Garden
While I was in the bathroom at the Nature Center, I read about the Tennessee Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights on the back of a stall door! The TN Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights states that every child should have the opportunity to walk in the woods, play outside, explore nature, watch wildlife, grow a garden, splash in the water, camp under the stars, learn to swim, climb a tree, go fishing, fly a kite, and visit a farm. How cool is that? Never thought about it in such official terms but all of those things are paramount to childhood! A person could do almost all of those things right at Percy Warner!
Today I will just focus on how awesome the ponds and creeks are right next to the Nature Center. The ponds at the Nature Center are just so awesome because most city folk and even many country dwellers don't get to explore ponds and it is so much fun! The spring time is so special because tons and tons of tadpoles appear! If you bring your kids back frequently like I do, they can watch the whole process from frog eggs floating on the pond to tadpoles, to tadpoles with hind legs, to tadpoles with hind and front legs, to tiny frogs everywhere! Plus we always see tons of small fish. We have on occasion, also spotted newts, turtles, and Northern water snakes, and banded water snakes. Not to mention the dragflys that buzz around! These ponds are just so awesome!
We also love the creeks there. Actually we love the creeks everywhere! I spent a huge amount of my summers in creeks as I kid and I loved it. So it feels great to be able to bring my kids to play in the creeks. We bring nets and a little plastic fish tank so we can observe what we have caught before we release. My daughter takes after me, and at 5, she catch salamanders with the best of them! We also catch crawfish/ crayfish, however you want to say the name! I showed her where to hold them to avoid getting pinched. My son who is only three sticks mostly to trying to catch waterbugs that glide around on top of the water. I was never good at that either. Man are they fast! When I was a kid the creeks were full of minnows. I always worked hard to catch them but they were there and in many species. The Nature Center Creeks don't seem to have very many, if any minnows. I am not sure why that is. None the less, we always have lots of fun and I always have to force them to leave because they are never ready to go!
I hope that every kid gets to enjoy these activities!
You might also enjoy reading Gardening with My Kids or How to make an easy fun bird feeder with your kids.