By Guest Blogger Kevin Redding
September is one of the finest times of year to be outdoors. The nights are cool and days are crisp. Leaves are giving their first hint of the upcoming color show. Wildlife is active during daylight hours. This year there is another good reason to get outdoors this week, and not by yourself! The week of September 24-30 has been designated Take a Child Outdoors Week.
Here in the Triad we’re fortunate to have a multitude of great places to take children. Local parks abound and don’t cost a thing. All you have to do is get there…
However, in recognition of Take a Child Outdoors Week, challenge yourself to go beyond your neighborhood park. Find a place where you and your child can connect with nature. Price Park, at the intersection of Hobbs Road and New Garden Road in Greensboro, is the perfect spot. A relatively new park, these 90 acres remain a hidden jewel in our area. The park lends itself to taking children outdoors. In addition to the park, you can enjoy the environmentally-themed Kathleen Clay Edwards Family Branch Library.
Just below the library is a 2-3 acre wetland where kids can sit and watch geese and other waterfowl meander about. Adjacent to the wetland is the Bird & Butterfly meadow. This grassy area is filled with butterfly loving plants and great trails to traverse the grassland. It’s also not uncommon to spot a deer sneaking through the vegetation upon your presence.
Across the street is the Meadowlark Sanctuary. This area was recently burned by a prescribed fire conducted by Piedmont Land Conservancy. The burn was intended to rid the area of invasive plants. The Conservancy will replant the 14 acre area in October with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. For children, this provides the perfect opportunity to see nature in action. Following the fire (a perfectly natural event) the grasses will regenerate. Next spring you can return with your children and show them how nature’s wounds are quickly healed in a few short months.
You don’t have to be a biologist to take your kids outdoors. Simple lessons will persist with them far longer than you can imagine. Worst case, simply let them play in the dirt and explore the natural world. It’s the least we can do for our kids who all too often spend their days indoors with little natural interactions. They’ll thank you for it!
Our guest blogger, Kevin, grew up in Salisbury and spent many days exploring the forests, fields, and creeks. He and his wife, Lori, and their two children, now live in Greensboro. Kevin is the Executive Director of the Piedmont Land Conservancy.