OSAGE | This past fall, Mitchell County Bridges Mentoring received a grant from the Foundation for the Enhancement of Mitchell County (FEMC) to offer nature-centered programming for Bridges mentors and mentees in collaboration with the Milton R. Owen Nature Center.
Several Bridges mentors and parents had asked the program to provide seasonal learning opportunities for them and their mentees.
“This collaboration will provide mentors and mentees with opportunities to participate in meaningful learning experiences together at no cost,” said Lacey Waller, Bridges Mentoring program coordinator.
Creating Pathways to Nature will offer six small events and one large trip over the next year.
Nature Discovery packs will be awarded to mentees who attend three or more of the events valued at over $100. The nature discovery pack will consist of education materials from each event that mentees can take home with them to continue exploring the natural world.
* Winter Survival Day Camp, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31 - Participants will spend the day outdoors learning about winter survival and safety as well as experience winter recreation opportunities, games, activities, cross country skiing, ice skating, and sledding.
* Living History Farms Bus Trip in May (date to be determined) - Attendees will travel to Des Moines to visit Living History Farms, an educational complex that specializes in hands on, active teaching about 1800’s life.
* Canoe the Cedar, Saturday, July 11 - Mentors and mentees will travel the Cedar River via Canoe and will also get the opportunity to fish.
* Butterfly Garden Trail Tour, 4-6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 1 – Tour the butterfly gardens at the Wapsi-Great Western Line Trailhead in Riceville. Here mentors and mentees will learn about pollinators and capture, tag, and release monarchs and walk the nature trail.
* Rockford Fossil and Prairie Park in September (date and time to be determined) – Learn about the prairie and the history of fossils in Rockford. Transportation will be provided.
“Bridges is so grateful to have so many wonderful people involved in this program,” said Waller. “We hope to see a lot of faces at each event. Thank you to the FEMC for making this programming possible.”