Secrest Overflows with Partners at Family Nature Night
A steady stream of families strolled through Secrest’s doors as Family Nature Night began. Smiling faces were waiting at the Welcome Table where Krysta and Sheryl greeted everyone with raffle tickets and information! Partners lined the hallways with activities galore, and pizza was waiting in the cafeteria with an added bonus of making s’mores for dessert courtesy of Mountain Side Gear Rental. While munching on delicious chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker combinations, many adults and kids learned about all the gear available for rent that makes some outdoor activities more fun for minimal cost.
The Barr Lake State Park table, just outside the cafeteria, was bustling with activity the entire evening. T-shirts of various colors were produced to the delight of waiting children. Some even took selfies with their new swag or displayed them for all to see!
History Colorado had some rousing games of history bingo going on, and after many posed with state symbols for a photo opportunity. Some very creative poses were adopted by the models! Denver Botanic Gardens brought a challenging plant identification activity, and anyone who wanted to plant a pot could take home their very own native grasses as well!
Butterfly Pavilion’s hissing cockroaches were in fine form at Secrest, scaring people passing by with a sudden HHHSSSSSSS! Were you brave enough to touch the hissing cockroaches? Or the hermit crab? The arthropod ID game was a great way to build up courage first. The City of Arvada set up many maps that were a great resource for all the local residents. If students stopped by to chat and name their favorite park they received a free book to take home, and the parents could keep a map of all the parks for future outings.
Or maybe you were busy trying to identify birds with Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. Many were fascinated by the skulls and eggs of various bird species. Could you tell which one was an eagle? The trivia and biofacts provided by US Fish and Wildlife Rocky Mountain Arsenal were a hit with many kids, and it was a particularly fun station for people to stop because the volunteers from Mile High Youth Corps running the station were personable, full of information, and fun to be around.
The raffle at 6 pm was highly anticipated. Students gripped their tickets hoping to hear the winning number. Binoculars and camping gear went quickly, and lucky families also received History Colorado Family Passes. The grand prize State Parks Gift Certificate was received by a very happy little girl and her family eager to explore the parks in this beautiful state!
The trivia wheel and Generation Wild activities were up near the welcome table, but people kept wandering back and forth through all the activities, so there was a steady stream of visitors at these stations. How many things could you check off the list of 100 things to do before you’re 12? Tracking animals using their unique paws as clues was a good way to start! Sometimes people even brought knowledge they had just earned from the trivia wheel to help them identify certain tracks!
Lookout Mountain Nature Center had some very fun activities for those willing to act a little silly. Did you try animal track Twister!? Plaster track molds were also a hit after taking a turn at matching animal pictures to tracks. Majestic View Nature Center was also a great stop for curious individuals. Do you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise?
Backyard Bass, located in the gym, gathered quite a following of students, some of whom could not even pull themselves away at the end of the night! How many plastic fish did you catch? Archery was also extremely popular with kids willing to wait in the ever-present line for a shot (or two, or three!) at hitting a bullseye.
With so many partners, it was a full evening of fun things to do. It was a wonderful night full of fun for all the families, and kids leaving at the end of the evening had a huge assortment of favorite activities to list. The SOLE program would like to thank all of our partners, volunteers, Secrest staff, and everyone who attended that made the night a success!