Now Playing Near and Far: Nature!
Beginning a new school year means it’s time to think about how to balance structured (think inside, screened, fielded) and unstructured hours (read outside, active, free). Friends of Rye Nature Center offers all ages an opportunity to do just that this fall. With their ears to the ground, the nonprofit’s recent community survey revealed that kids weren’t the only ones needing to get out and about. Adults want out too. Don’t miss “Sweet Escapes”, their new family campfire nights and mini-adventure series for adults. Here’s a brief sample of what all local learners can do with FRNC this year.
Making children feel like the Rye Nature Center’s 47-acres is a great wilderness of fun and exploration is what FRNC does best. Ages 3½ through 5 have a rare opportunity to have all their school days outside in the five-morning a week Forest Preschool program. For those in need of enrichment, the weekly Preschool Ecology sessions are offered both in the mornings and afternoons. For both preschool programs, FRNC will walk students to and from their local schools if parents wish. Afterschool programs are available across several grade levels: Forest Kindergarten (Kindergarten) Wild Outside (Grades 1 and 2), and Wilderness Encounters (Grades 3 and 4). FRNC’s Henry Myer’s Environmental Science Club was so popular with fifth and sixth graders last year that they are launching a new section for seventh and eighth graders.
Citizen Science, Family, and Adult Programs
These days, nature may need us just as much as we need it. FRNC’s Citizen Science programs allow you to be an active researcher in some of the most important environmental science initiatives being nationally rolled out, including box turtle monitoring, American Eel migration patterns, invasive species encroachment, Pollinator Pathways, and the Great Backyard Bird Count. For families, our seasonal weekend programs and new campfire evenings are a great way to enjoy all that the nature gives us. And for those grownups looking to get out of their comfort zone, the new “Sweet Escapes” series provides field trips to some of the most beautiful places in the Hudson Valley.
School Districts and Teachers
With the launch of their mobile exhibit and classroom, NatureStation, in 2018, FRNC has been traveling throughout Westchester County and even just down Milton Road to give students a dose of Vitamin N. NatureStation’s programs are aligned with Next Generation standards and offer a space for hands-on STEM experiences. Field trips to the Rye Nature Center are available too, and teachers can work with FRNC’s education team to accommodate all grades and learning styles.
Community Programs and Partnerships
FRNC’s partnerships with local nonprofits and community organizations increase the number of people who have access to conservation and environmental education. From weekly classes at Port Chester’s Carver Center and the White Plains YWCA to partnering with Rye’s local garden clubs, school committees, and conservation groups like the Rye Sustainability Committee, FRNC provides programs for diverse audiences throughout the school year.
For more information, visit ryenaturecenter.org or call 967-5150.