March 15, 2019 10:43 pm

Spring Nature Fest rolls back into Lethbridge

Hundreds of children and parents made their way down to the river valley Friday afternoon to partake in the fifth annual Spring Nature Fest. Kyle Benning tells us more about the activities and educational programs that took place at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre.

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There are still a handful of days until the Spring Equinox but it didn’t stop hundreds of children from celebrating the changing of seasons.

The Helen Schuler Nature Centre hosted its fifth annual Spring Nature Fest Friday afternoon.

READ MORE: Helen Schuler Nature Centre celebrates the Oldman River Valley

Organizers offered families a chance to interact and learn about nature with several hands-on lessons.

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“We have a craft that’s making paper airplanes that look like birds and we’re getting people to look at migratory birds,” said the centre’s technician Jessica Deacon-Rogers. “This time of year is when so many migratory bird species are making that journey back to Lethbridge or just barely starting to arrive because it is the beginning of spring.”

The festival had a number of different activities including geocaching, crafts and building challenges to learn a little more about our ecosystem.

“One of our scavenger hunt things is to look for ravens. The ravens, right now, are collecting nesting materials from all around the park. So it’s really fun because we’ve seen them three times already this afternoon with people flying above with sticks in their mouths and very obviously going and building a nest,” Deacon-Rogers said.

The nature centre was joined by several different groups offering activities in the river valley.

READ MORE: Local photographer focuses on wildlife for Lethbridge International Film Festival

Lethbridge College’s early childhood educator program hosted a loose parts playground giving its students some work experience.

“I hope that they will become an educator who can promote through play something that helps children gain critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills and a connection to nature,” instructor Bora Kim said.

READ MORE: Environmentalists and volunteers tackle invasive plants in Lethbridge river valley

Parks Canada brought a team from Waterton who organized an activity to teach children about one of the national park’s at-risk species.

“It’s like snakes and ladders only its tunnels and tire tracks. It helps you learn a little bit about the long-toed salamanders plus the other species that do use the tunnels,” said public outreach education officer Dianne Pachal.

The nature centre said as well as teaching people about what they can see now, the event also provides insight into how the landscape will change in the coming weeks.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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