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Jr. Earthkeepers study Nature Center trails

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MASSENA - Children find adventure outdoors as they explore the Upper Loop at Robert Moses State Park Nature Center. Snow-covered trails provided an excellent opportunity to teach about animal tracks in the wild. Seventeen youngsters were led through the nature trails and identified coyote, deer, turkey and snowshoe hare tracks. After the hike, each child selected their favorite wild animal to pose with. They were tasked with finding one fact about their animal, and to posting it under their picture on Facebook (pictures were posted on a Facebook page created for the group: Jr Earth Keepers).

This event is part of a new youth adventure club that recently began in Massena called the Jr. Earth Keepers. The program encourages children to get outdoors, learn about green-living and environmental conservation, and teaches them to use new technology to learn about nature. The free club welcomes all children, 5 – 12-years-old, who have a desire to learn about wildlife in the North Country and is headed up by staff of the Friends of the Robert Moses State Park Nature Center, Inc. The Earth Keeper program is funded by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation which began in October 2013.

The Jr. Earth Keeper club meets monthly at the Nature Center, and will be using digital cameras, tablets, and GPS units in the scheduled events. This gives kids a chance to learn, hands-on, combining technology with a better understanding of nature. Upcoming activities include snowshoeing, geocaching, seasonal scavenger hunts and becoming citizen scientists through recording their findings on global online projects.

For more information, visit www.massenanaturecenter.org.

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