Special to the Citizen
Families broke out of day-to-day routine Saturday, April 13 for a morning of hiking, crafts and natural discovery.
As part of an initiative to garner interest in wildlife at a young age, the Platte Land Trust put together the Family Time Outdoors and filled it with plenty of activities at the Charlotte Sawyers Nature Area in Parkville.
One of the first tasks saw the children and their parents venturing off wooded areas as part of a hike.
As a way to spice up the short adventure — and keep the children’s attention — those working the event prepared a sort of scavenger hunt. Each item in the hunt was valuable in its own way, and many provided potent learning opportunities for the children as well as their parents.
Next, parents took a backseat to a somewhat of a teaching moment for the kids that involved learning about wildlife through different animal skins. Children gathered and asked questions as Missouri Department of Conservation representative Mary Beth Ogle offered facts about each animal.
President of the Platte Land Trust’s board of directors Carla Dods talked about some of the reasons families should look into events like these as unique opportunities.
“Spending time outdoors and in nature is so vital to our physical and mental health,” Dods said. “Family Time Outdoors is a real and rougher; you kind of get to see nature as it really is.”
The Platte Land Trust has been holding this event since 2017 and shows no sign of stopping. Turn out Saturday was strong and, as a result, offered a look into the potential outdoors events like this have.
“It also serves as a way to show the good of providing to the community or being of service to the community,” Dods said. “There is a big need for things like this so we are just trying to help fill that need.”