The forest for the trees

Kids take ownership of outdoors with new program

— Few parents have contacted the group about the program.

“A lot of parents are scared to let children out in woods and it’s a shame,” Knapp said.

The parcels would be within the Normans Kill and Schiffendecker preserves in Bethlehem. Knapp said she knows last year there were concerns about poison ivy and the increase in ticks within the area, but the group hired people to safely control the invasive plants and pests.

The hope is to eventually use some of the funds to place cameras in certain areas of the preserve so students can see what kinds of creatures visit their parcel when no one is there.

The program is open to youth groups, community organization, schools, families and adults. All children most be accompanied by an adult, and an adult from each group must attend a short orientation. Campfires, hunting and trapping, and overnight camping are not permitted.

The hope is groups will “contribute to creating a healthy environment in their local community” and increase awareness and vigilance of invasive species, while developing new skills and “exploring career options in the natural resources.”

“We want children to learn to explore the world around them,” said Knapp.

Any group or family from throughout the Capital District is welcome to join. To learn more, visit www.mohawkhudson.org or call 436-6346.

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