ArborWild, a free outdoor education program hosted by the Shawnee National Forest, has been scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 13 at Harrisburg Memorial Park.
The day will include a bird obstacle course, fishing, wildland firefighters and their engine, nature crafts, Native American rock art, nature Jeopardy, bat biologists and a visit from Smokey Bear.
Amanda Patrick, public affairs officer for the Shawnee National Forest, said they have held the program for several years and it has been very popular.
This year, in order to better accommodate people, they are holding events in both Harrisburg and Carbondale. The Carbondale event will be held at Evergreen Park June 12.
“We wanted to make it more accessible to people,” Patrick said. “There will be a lot of engaging, hands-on stations for kids.”
Patrick said research has shown there is a growing disconnect between children and nature and they want to do whatever they can to bring kids back to their natural roots.
“More than ever, events like ArborWild are so crucial,” said Patrick. “Kids can come enjoy this free summer program.”
All ages are invited to attend, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Larger groups should RSVP to the event by calling the Shawnee National Forest at (618) 253-7114.
“Nature really is good for us holistically,” said Patrick. “We're really excited and proud to be doing this.”
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