Get down and dirty with nature this summer
"Ranger” Eric Powers will bring out his beach finds that he’s collected over the past decade to show kids what can be found off the shores of Long Island.

ADV/Rohrbacker

Get down and dirty with nature this summer

Story By: GLENN ROHRBACKER
5/16/2019


CEED’s first summer programs for kids will get them into nature and immersed in the local ecology

 

Children will have a new opportunity this summer to explore the world around them through the Center for Environmental Education & Discovery’s first annual Summer Nature Experience. The program is available for children in grades two through six and will be held on the campus of the Post-Morrow Foundation in Brookhaven hamlet. 

The Summer Nature Experience led by CEED will bring students through two different sessions. The first focuses on wildlife and the role animals play in our world. Kids will get a chance to see and touch different animals from all over the world, and some that live right in their backyard — reptiles, birds, insects and more. For the second session, kids will learn more about the overlaying ecosystem on Long Island and how animals, plants, people and more interact with one another. 

“This will be much more immersive in nature than any other program around here,” said Rebecca Muellers, co-founder and executive director of CEED. 

Parents be warned: your kids will get wet, dirty and touch stuff. But they will also learn a lot in the process.

“Our main goal is to really get kids outside and in nature,” said Eric Powers, a co-founder of CEED, who will be running much of the summer programming. 

Powers will bring in animals like turtles and a chinchilla for kids to see. And he will bring some of his friends, who have their own exotic animals. He also plans on bringing kids into the woods to learn about plants, over to the shore to learn about what life is there, and more. Muellers said a goal of the program is to help kids learn about the world around them. It’s also a way to improve children’s mental health, ability to do well in school, and social skills. 

“A healthy environment means healthy people,” Powers said. 

The camp will be rain or shine, as the organization will base the camp in the annex of the Post-Morrow Foundation headquarters. Outdoor adventures will still be held in light rain, but in the event of severe weather, there will be indoor activities like nature crafts and science experiments. 

Both sessions are a week long, and Powers said the ecology session, which is the second, will build on much of what was learned during the wildlife experience. The wildlife session will run from July 15 to 19 and the ecology session will run from July 22 to 26. There is a full-day and half-day option, so parents can sign up for either an entire day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., a morning half-day from 9 a.m. to noon, or an afternoon half-day from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Each session costs $350 per child for the full day or $185 per child for the half day. Parents can sign up their children by visiting ceedli.org or by calling 631-803-6780. 

 

Adult programming

For any adults that may feel like they’re missing out, CEED is hosting a Friendly Foragers experience for those 21 and over. Powers will bring people through the nearby forests to look for plants, herbs, mushrooms and barks and learn about their uses. The group will also remove invasive plant species and replant endangered natives that are beneficial to the ecosystem. The sessions are one Saturday per month in the summer, at $95 per workshop. Visit ceedli.org for more information or to sign up.