Free. That is just one word that I like to bandy around, like I’m the one passing it out. Free. So simple. So, well, freeing! There are a lot of things that are free and sometimes, like advice, we just don’t want to hear it. So I will cease with the accolades for all that is free and cut right to the no admission charge at the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, better known as The Wild Center, on Saturday May 2nd. So to all naysayers who criticize that I can’t get to the point I say! What was the point, again?
Ah, yes. After being closed for the month of April The Wild Center has dusted off its winter wear and is celebrating with demonstrations of all things wild. Appropriately there will be over 25 organizations connecting people to nature. The focus of this event is to get families to go outside and enjoy the benefits of a natural environment. As much as I would like to include raking the yard, I don’t think that is what they had in mind.
Some events to look forward to are a fly fishing demonstration, cloud watching, drawing wild things, otter enrichment, a porcupine encounter (ouch) games, introduction to camping and 101 uses for plants. The 31-acre natural playground the Wild Center calls a campus will be open for business as usual for hikes, walks and naturalist-guided tours as well as all the inside hands-on exhibits.
Author Richard Louv will be presenting and signing his book, Last Child in the Woods. Louv and the Children in Nature New York network are working to reconnect children with the outdoors. There doesn’t seem to be a better place to start than the Wild Center.
The Pines, a nature playground will make its grand entrance. Children will love it. The last time we saw it, it was still in the works but the kids were allowed to scramble over a log set up like a balance beam and scale over the tangled base of an uprooted tree. This is Mother Nature’s jungle gym, allowing kids to interact with the most basic elements and letting them supply the imagination.
My “free” happy dance is over. So show up for your own reasons: because there is no admission fee or because at long last you can finally shed your own remnants of winter.
This special event is open from 10-3 on May 2nd. For more information about this event and other activities at the Wild Center please call 359-7800 or on the web at www.wildcenter.org.