March 5, 2013
Contact:  Nancy Lee Gomer, Marketing Coordinator, 636.949.7535 or cell 636.795.1137   

St. Charles County — Learn about different aspects of nature at Towne Park's outdoor classroom located at 100 Towne Park Dr., off Highway 61 near Foristell from 1:30 -3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 24.  Families, organizations, scout troops, clubs and youth groups are encouraged to get outside and participate in six nature activities, which include Tempt Your Senses, Explore Habitats, Feel the Texture, Build a Human Tree, Get Balanced, and Learn about Bats.  Sponsored by the St. Charles County Parks Department and the Confluence Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalist, these fun educational programs are suitable for children ages 5 – 12.  Additional nature programs are scheduled Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, May 19.

Each nature program lasts about a half hour and is being presented at the only Certified Nature Explore Classroom in St. Charles County, which has become an inspiration for children, families and educators across the tri-county area since it opened May 2012 .  Park guests can choose to participate in one activity or all six throughout the course of the afternoon.  Registration for the following programs is not required, but advised for groups of 10 or more.

Tempt Your Senses:  This nature program focuses on the five senses that provide us with a direct connection to the natural world.  Explore a variety of sensory stimuli as you make your way through the Certified Nature Explore Classroom blindfolded.  A partner will guide you by using only smells to map your way.

Explore Habitats:  This nature program uncovers why certain animals live in certain areas.  Would an owl be able to survive in a whale's habitat?  Join us as we explore habitats using activities to help understand why animals survive in their own special environment.  Feel the Texture:  Slippery, slimy, rough, smooth, pointed, prickly...all of these words describe how something feels.  Discover the different compositions found in the Certified Nature Explore Classroom by using your hands and making texture rubbings of these objects. 

Build a Human Tree:  Learn how to build a tree by using sound and actions.  A tree has so many parts...its roots, trunk, layers of growth, branches, leaves and much more!  Help assemble a human tree by coming together to learn about each of its parts. 

Get Balanced:  We all want balance in our lives.  Learn how different animals maintain balance in nature and how their habitat influences this balancing act.  Participants will imitate various animals using the Balance Area of the Certified Nature Explore Classroom.

Learn About Bats:  Bats use special senses to move and locate items in their surroundings.  This educational program teaches about bats and their unique way of life.    

The Certified Nature Explore Classroom at Towne Park is a dynamic, nature-based play and learning space, which supports skill development in children by reconnecting them with the outdoors.  Certified by the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, it encompasses 11 learning stations for children to explore.  Each area of the classroom is designed to motivate children by offering interactive elements – including musical instruments made of natural materials, climbing structures, wooden blocks, garden areas, and natural materials for building and creating art – that give children important and inspiring nature experiences.  Since the Certified Nature Explore Classroom at Towne Park opened May 2012, it has become an inspiration for children, families and educators across the tri-county area. 

For more information about the nature programs being presented at Towne Park's Certified Nature Explore Classroom, contact the St. Charles County Parks Department at 636.949.7535 or visit the parks department's activity calendar at www.stccpark.org. 

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