Children enjoy Winter Wanders at Turtle River State ParkMother Nature rewarded a dozen children and their families gathered Saturday afternoon for an outdoor event with clear skies and calm winds. Winter Wanders, a park program, educated the kids how to use the bounty of the woods to create works of art.
By: Robb Jeffries, Grand Forks Herald
TURTLE RIVER STATE PARK, N.D. — Mother Nature rewarded a dozen children and their families gathered Saturday afternoon for an outdoor event with clear skies and calm winds.
Winter Wanders, a park program, educated the kids how to use the bounty of the woods to create works of art.
Participants went on a nature hike with park naturalist Laci Prucinsky to gather twigs, leaves and grass to create ice suncatchers. Prucinsky stressed the importance of using only dead flora to the group.
“It’s OK to use the sticks on the ground, but do you know why you can’t take a branch off a tree?” she asked.
“Because you’ll hurt the tree,” a helpful child answered.
After collecting their fill, the children returned to the chalet. They arranged the samples in plastic trays, and added berries and seeds for the woodland critters to eat when the suncatchers melt. After pouring water and placing string into the tray, the suncatchers were set outside to freeze.
While others were making the suncatchers, Noah Lund and Dylan Cariveau, both 8, started working on a snow quilt. The cousins sprayed different colors of Kool-Aid on a snowbank to make an artful collage of color.
“I was really excited to do the quilt and go sledding,” Dylan said. His family had traveled to the Grand Forks area from Somerset, N.J., to visit relatives during the holidays.
Park Manager Steve Crandall was encouraged by the turnout.
“We try to have something in between Christmas and New Year’s every year for the kids,” he said. “Sometimes, they can get bored during break.”
Crandall, a 20-year Turtle River veteran, hopes to ramp up educational programming.
“We want to try to incorporate some of the required math and science components that students have into events here at the park,” he said.
On the Web: For more park info, including upcoming events, go to www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/trsp/trsp.html
Call Jeffries at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1105; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.