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Junior naturalist

Our county parks program is wonderful. I've bragged about it before, but I'll brag again. I think one of the best things about the program, if it's not the fact that it's free or offers so many enriching opportunities, is that the naturalists who lead the events don't talk down to the kids. Instead, they expect great things from the little ones, and most often they are right on the mark. Kids are little sponges, something we all know, but as much as they absorb every little conversation that we didn't want them to hear in the first place (and then proceed to repeat them at inopportune times), they seem especially in tune with the natural world. Naturally.

Yesterday was the final Junior Naturalists summer class. It was an exploration of Michigan habitats—forests, prairies, wetlands. We walked through examples of each, identifying critters and plants. Calvin came home with a piece of paper certifying his abilities as a junior naturalist, but I think he was actually more excited about the hours we spent at the splash park afterwards than he was about the piece of paper. Or the splash park after, and the frog we found during the program.

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