Tarrytown Nature Club has recently partnered with the Bronx Zoo to help create a nature club there, as part of a new grant-funded program. The folks from the zoo are running monthly nature sessions for the participating local families, helping them become more comfortable with exploring nature through fun games and activities. I’ve been helping in an advisory role. TNC (together with Kids Unplugged, a local adventure travel blog) will also lead monthly excursions for the families into natural areas near the zoo.
The idea for these Bronx Zoo Nature Club excursions is to get the kids into the woods, fields, and wetlands that are all around their neighborhoods, and to let them explore and play. It’s not a nature hike like adults take, where the goal is to get as far or as high as possible. It’s mucking around, finding salamanders, climbing trees, getting muddy — experiences that kids desperately need and yet often don’t get enough of in today’s high-tech world.
Today I explored a new area that I think will be perfect for our first nature excursion- the John Muir Nature Trail in the Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park. It’s sandwiched in-between two major roads, but once you step onto the trail you could be in any northeastern forest. There are logs to clamber over, birds and squirrels rustling in the leaves, and mossy hollows to nestle into. I can’t wait to bring the kids here on November first.