FWC connecting kids with nature

FWC connecting kids with nature

The courtyard between the old and new Florida capitols will be a showcase of the natural wonders of Florida from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 27. The theme is "Creating the next generation that cares."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host a variety of interactive displays to inspire youngsters to care about the natural character of Florida and enjoy the adventures that nature offers them.

One display will feature a touch tank of marine life; another will offer kids a chance to become a bear for a little while and search for berries and bugs to eat. Participants will also have a chance to learn how to cast a fishing line.

Kids will learn the names of the bird species that live in Florida or migrate through the state every year and participate in an activity that will help them discover what it's like to be a bird at migration time.

Youngsters will get to see a wild baby alligator up close with an expert standing by to answer their questions, such as, "Can an alligator really outrun a racehorse like my brother says?"

The FWC's Division of Law Enforcement will display the vehicles and vessels it takes to patrol, protect and preserve Florida's woods and waters, and the division's K-9 team will demonstrate how it sniffs out lawbreakers and tracks down lost adventurers.

Other activities will include a station to make bird masks, a turkey-calling presentation and more.

Increasingly, today's children disconnect from nature. They devote nearly eight hours a day to entertainment media and media multi-tasking, while the number of youngsters who spend time in traditional outdoor activities continues to decline dramatically.

Organizers hope that through providing information and interactive experiences to youths, the project will motivate them to care about protecting the legacy of magnificent natural resources that are unique to Florida and that fuel the state's economy.

The event is free and open to everybody who's interested in learning some of nature's secrets and how they sustain life in Florida.

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