CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Even the Clay Center is getting the gardening/outdoor bug!
According to the center's LeAnn Dickens, they are planting edibles in a vegetable garden at the center with the help of Piedmont Elementary School students, using the opportunity to teach lessons in healthy nutrition and organic gardening practices.
Additionally, the Clay Center is teaming up with Kanawha State Forest.
"Our educator Heather Baliko at Clay Center came up with the idea," Dickens said. So they contacted Kevin Dials, the assistant superintendent at Kanawha State Forest, and they've been producing a series of family-friendly programs aimed at teaching science in the context of nature.
A Summer Discovery Nature Camp will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily June 27 through July 1. The deadline to register is June 20. Students in grades three through seven will spend the week investigating habitats, hiking trails and learning to navigate the outdoors with GPS at the forest.
In the fall, Dials will present one of the Clay Center's Lunchtime Lectures. At 12:15 p.m. Sept. 14, he will talk about the treasures that abound in Kanawha State Forest, as well as throughout the West Virginia State Park system.
An After School Explorers Club will be themed "Critter Catch and Release," from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 22 for kids in grades two to six. The Clay Center and Kanawha State Forest instructors will investigate some of the creatures that call the forest home, as they look for bugs that hide in the stream, crawl across the ground and fly through the air. Registration deadline is Sept. 19.