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Nurturing a love of the wonders of nature for the young and curious is the goal of Greenbelt’s upcoming 2019 Family Nature Series.  Partnering with North Shore Nature Programs and veteran environmental educator Andrew Prazar, Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, offers a series of naturalist-led family programs in 2019.

The programs are FREE, but registration is required at www.ecga.org/events.

“I love working with children and witnessing the excitement they experience,” said Prazar.  “They have a sense of curiosity that I think people tend to lose as they get older.”

From mid-winter to mid-summer, the programs have a seasonal focus and allow for kids, parents and grandparents to learn and explore the unique flora and fauna of each site.

The series starts on February 9 at Indian Hill Conservation Area in West Newbury, where families will look for tracks to learn about the animals moving around in the winter and where they live.

It continues on April 6 at the Farnsworth Reservation in North Andover, with a visit to vernal pools to scoop up pond water in search of wiggly salamanders and frog egg masses.

On May 18, Greenbelt celebrates the honey bees, butterflies and the other pollinators so important to our flowers and food supply at their annual Family Pollinator Day at the Cox Reservation in Essex. There is much to learn about these hard-working pollinators.  With kid-friendly activities, attendees with learn about the many fruits, vegetables, and nuts, including chocolate and coffee they help bring us.

A yummy, late spring walk eyes wild edibles at the Cox Reservation in Essex on June 15, and will help identify what and what not to eat.  Families will learn about nuts from local trees, and search for appetizing treats such as Juneberries, Lamb’s Quarters and Pineapple Weed flowers.

The series concludes on August 3 with a discovery of the insects, fish, horseshoe crabs and marshland birds that inhabit the salt marsh at Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary in Rowley.

“My hope is that children will participate, become inspired, excited, and/or moved by nature to the point where learning and experiencing nature becomes a part of their lives and shapes the way they think about the world,” said Prazar.

Family Nature Series at a Glance
Feb 9        Animal Tracks                      Indian Hill Conservation Area, West Newbury
Apr 6        Vernal Pools                         Farnsworth Reservation, North Andover
May 18     Birds, Bees, Butterflies      Cox Reservation, Essex
June 15    Wild Edibles for Kids         Cox Reservation, Essex
Aug 3        Discover the Salt Marsh    Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, Rowley

Learn more and sign up at www.ecga.org/events.

About Greenbelt:

Greenbelt – Essex County’s Land Trust works with local individuals, families, farmers and communities to protect the farmland, wildlife habitat and scenic vistas of Essex County. Since 1961, Greenbelt has protected more than 17,500 acres of local land. For more information, visit ecga.org or call 978-768-7241.

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