New nature center kicks off programs in Bethany Beach
The Bethany Beach Nature Center offered the first of several planned interactive educational youth activity days at the center on Saturday, Oct. 31. The Nature Center is now open on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays until the first of the year and will then re-open in the spring for more activities.
Every Saturday, from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m., there will be free interactive, educational opportunities for kids.
For example, this week, on Friday, Nov. 7, there will be “Anatomy of Tree!” where children can learn how to determine different aspects of trees, such as age and height. On Nov. 14 will be “Making Tracks – learn to decipher different animal tracks,” and on Nov. 21 there will be “Turkey’s are Wild – learn differences between wild and captive turkeys.” On Nov. 28 is “Hibernation Habits – learn where the creatures go in the winter.”
There is no charge for the children’s activities but children must be accompanied by an adult.
As for Halloween’s debut morning of learning and fun, Bethany Beach Nature Center Director Lisa Daisey said about 17 children showed up. “What a great turnout! Wow!”
Participant Carly Collins of Bethany Beach said the best part of the activity was going out on the ramp where visitors can “see all the grass and all the birds and the water,” and she said she would definitely be back for another adventure.
The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays and the Town of Bethany Beach have a partnership to provide nature experiences and watershed education at the center. The 26-acre conservation area includes forested uplands, freshwater uplands and tidal wetlands.
The Bethany Beach Nature Center’s indoor facility is located inside the historic Addy Cottage, which was moved to the site and restored by the Town of Bethany Beach. In addition to the trail, which is open from dawn to dusk, there is a handicapped-accessible boardwalk where educational signs abound. Inside the center, visitors can explore the watershed virtually, through the high-tech “I-wall.”
The nature center also plans to offer adult-oriented events on the second Sunday of every month. On Sunday, Nov. 15, Elaine Rifkin, a local wildlife photographer, will be hosting a book signing for her new book, “StayingHOME,” from 3:30 to 4 p.m.
For Nature Center hours, call (302) 537-7680.