No matter where you find yourself during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Helen Schuler Nature Centre is offering you and your family unique opportunities to connect with nature. The Centre has reimagined several hands-on programs to be delivered in safe and fun ways that keep physical distancing and isolation in check.
At home and unable to leave your property? The Natural Leaders Project has been re-designed for you to participate without the need to leave your home or yard! This weekly series helps residents discover how urban environments are connected. Complete the series and your home, yard and neighbourhood will be a more sustainable partner and friend to nature! Information on the Home Eco-Challenge, including how to sign up, can be found on the Helen Schuler Nature Centre's website Lethbridge.ca/Nature under the Natural Leaders Project tab.
"Many of our regular visitors have let us know that they miss participating in our programs," says Jessica Deacon-Rogers, Nature Centre Programming Coordinator "Nature Centre staff have been working hard to create programming that will bring the Nature Centre experience to you, in hopes that it will inspire people to take time to connect with nature and this beautiful place we call home."
If you miss attending Nature Centre programs, it might be time to check out new content on the Nature Centre's YouTube channel! Every second Saturday, viewers can join Jr. Naturalists leader Taylor via the Outdoor Adventure Club as he explores the coulees and Oldman river valley. You'll learn about the local environment through activities that encourage families and youth to get outdoors. Not able to get outside right now? Come along for a virtual Discovery Walk with a local naturalist! Watch the seasonal changes occurring in the Lethbridge River Valley through the unique perspective and keen observational skills of the Nature Centre's favorite programming staff.
Getting outside and going for a walk can do a world of good for your mental health and wellness. To promote these activities, the Nature Centre has been installing interesting signage and display items along city park trails. While the majority will be installed in the Lethbridge Nature Reserve and Indian Battle Park, others will be featured in parks throughout the city. Details can be found on the Nature Centre's website under Exhibits. Also available on the website, Get Outside 101, which features fun, play–based, nature activities. Contrary to the name, these activity sheets can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors, but are designed to encourage families to get outside whenever possible.
"We all know what a challenge it is to keep the kids busy these days," says Coreen Putman, Nature Centre Manager." New scenery and a variety of activities really does help. The temporary signage and display installations, as well as the Get Outside 101 program are our way of supporting families with ideas that are fun, interactive and educational."
Residents are encouraged to follow the Nature Centre's programs on social media and to check their website frequently for new ideas of things to do.