Westminster College’s Center for the Environment will be offering a series of outdoor educational events this summer for community members, children and families.
The center kicks off its summer educational programming with “Reducing Stress and Improving Focus with Nature Therapy” from 6-8 p.m. June 29 at the College Field Station, located at 937 Fayette-New Wilmington Road in New Wilmington. .
Offered to adults and children, participants will experience the mental and physical benefits of being in nature. Parents will learn the psychology behind the practice of nature therapy, while children are immersed in nature’s play.
Throughout the summer, the center will offer an assortment of community-based educational programs suitable for families, children and adults. All fees collected are used to support other environmental education programs.
Additional summer programs include:
• Celebration of Independence Day with the CfE: During this family event, learn more about nature’s fireworks: fireflies. Attendees can also sample honey from the Westminster College apiary. Next, head to Brittain Lake for the July 3 celebration in Westminster with the River City Brass Band and fireworks from Pyrotecnico. 6-8 p.m. July 3. Free event, but donations will be accepted.
• Tips for Creative Outdoor TikTok videos: This free event will teach high school students how to apply simple hacks to shoot creative nature videos and edit them on the phone to share on TikTok. Entrants must download the Splice app. 1 to 3 p.m. July 8.
• Demonstration of macro-invertebrates and electrofishing: Visit the Lake Brittain Wharf on the Westminster campus to learn about the diversity of macroinvertebrates and fish found in Little Neshannock Stream. Ecologists from Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. will demonstrate sampling techniques. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. July 9. There is a fee for this event.
• Nature at night: Bring your flashlight for this night walk to learn how to use senses other than sight to connect with nocturnal wildlife. Join a naturalist and former scout leader on a leisurely hike in the dark to the field station with stops along the way to view wildlife. Recommended from 5 years old. 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. July 13. There is a fee for this event.
• Visit to the Westminster College apiary: Designed for ages 10 and up, this session is for those who want to learn about beekeeping. Participants will learn about the apiary by opening hives, identifying brood, honey and much more. Coats, balaclavas and gloves will be available. This event is not recommended for people allergic to bees. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 16. There is a fee for this event.
• The Joy of Birds – Beginning bird watching and birding activities for children: Use the power of observation in this family session to listen and observe birds with hands-on activities, story and learning time, a birding hike in the woods and time to create a birding project. birds ! Binoculars recommended. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 20. There is a fee for this event.
• STEM Field Research: Interested in exploring a career in STEM? Join current Westminster students doing field research in STEM this summer to learn about their projects and help collect samples and data. This free event is open to current high school students. 1 to 3 p.m. July 22.
• Tips for a sustainable lifestyle and visit to a small house: Stop by our table at the Farmers Market at Vine and Chestnut streets in New Wilmington from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on July 23 to learn some sustainable living tips like composting and how to reduce plastic waste. Meet at Westminster’s Tiny House on Prospect Street for a free tour from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
•Service for Nature: Need service hours for your school or organization? Join us for fun and hard work planting trees and flowers, painting picnic tables, building birdhouses and more. This free event is open to high school students. 1 to 3 p.m. July 25
• Recycled birdhouses: This is a hands-on experience of creating birdhouses from recycled pallet wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Tools and supplies are provided to each two-person team. Designed for ages 15 and up, this event is chargeable. 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 30.
• Stargazing – The Summer Night Sky: Join us for this family session to see thousands of stars and explore the Milky Way up close on this night sky tour. Binoculars and optical reflector telescopes will be used to observe the most important constellations visible in summer. S’mores around the campfire to follow. 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on August 3. There is a fee for this event.
• Science of bees: High school students will get their hands dirty opening hives, identifying brood, honey and more in this free program! Material provided. Not recommended for people allergic to bees. 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 12.
To see a full list of programs and more details on each session or to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/3bzwkd8r.
Registration is required for events and most workshops are $10. Scholarships are available for those in financial difficulty. Some sessions are wheelchair accessible. Please call for details and to inquire about participants with other challenges.