Get Out in Nature with Carmel Clay Parks
Nature and I haven’t always been the best of friends, but I’m trying to be a good sport for my kids. As long time residents of Carmel, IN, we frequent several parks in the warmer months…but never make it off of the playgrounds. I mean, have you seen the Carmel Parks playgrounds? Where were these when I was a kid? Anyway, before I fall too deep into my childhood, let’s talk more about my kids and nature. The kids really seem to enjoy grass, dirt, rocks and flowers (no shocker there). Although I’m not always down with dirt, if I’m being honest, their curiosity about nature is inspiring. When I had the opportunity to partner with Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation for their Nature Tour Series, I went for it.
What Do You Do on Nature Park Tour?
We had the pleasure of going on a private tour of West Park with our Natural Resources Coordinator, Brittany. We started our tour with a walk up to a tall peak overlooking the entire park. Once the kids had a quick navigation lesson with Brittany (I loved how involved she was in helping the kids figure out whether we were going east, west, etc.), we were on to our first task: helping to spread milkweed for the monarch butterflies. From there we walked along a pond, learning about native flowers and plants, and we even spotted wildlife...with the help of Brittany's binoculars.
Is it Appropriate for Younger Kids?
Absolutely. My oldest is 8, youngest is 5 and both had a blast. Reading maps isn’t the easiest for the younger kids, but Brittany made it fun and engaging. What kid doesn’t love exploring? PRO TIPS: Pack a snack and water bottle for the kids. Not only is it smart to stay hydrated if you’re walking a lot, it makes the little kids feel so “official”. Also, purchase a couple of binoculars for your young kids prior to the tour. They were a game-changer.
If you have teens (13 & up) that enjoy nature, they will love this next event:
THE FLYOVER STATE: INDIANA’S MIGRATORS on November 15th. 6:00pm -7:00pm COST: FREE
In this tour you’ll learn about the different birds and wildlife that migrate through Indiana. You’re going to study migratory patterns and learn what you can do to protect the wildlife coming through Carmel and our parks. #YayWildlife Learn more about this event and more things you can do in Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation here.
How else can I get involved in Carmel Clay Parks?
Become a Park Steward! The Park Stewardship program will allow you to participate in the adopt-a-park program or volunteer at any of the parks. This work is so important in keeping our parks clean and healthy for native wildlife. Yes, you can effect change in your community!
Thanks again to the entire Carmel Clay Parks team for keeping our parks beautiful! We will definitely be out and about more! See you on the nature trails!