As the world shut down in March, CREA began to discover great new opportunities to connect with our community. In April, we offered our first virtual program and this was just the start!
With the help of two CREAtive summer interns, Alex Gates and Lily Johnston, CREA Nature Investigators (CNI) came to life in lieu of our traditional summer camp. Weekly videos were posted on our website and texted to registered families.
Each weekly CNI showcased fun, nature-based activities that families could do at home with minimal materials. We broadened our community connections further by offering Take-and-Make kits through the Topsham Public Library. These kits contained directions and materials for nature-based arts and crafts, designed to get families outdoors and exploring.
|”Frog jumping while wearing CREA’s camp shirt! We look forward to making a sundial and while I don’t have photos he actually made a rain gauge last week on his own. Likely something he learned at camp last year!” – CREA Camper Parent S. Speer|
This fall, we’re building on the success of our summer take-and-make kits. We’re partnering with BTLT to support families on their home learning days, especially those that might not have ready access to materials. Wild Wonders was born!
Two hundred and forty Wild Wonders kits were assembled by volunteers for distribution in October. Each week, different fall-themed kits were distributed to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention food pantry, Topsham Public Library and Curtis Memorial Library.
Distribution sites report that kits are flying off the shelves and achieving the goal of getting families outside! We will continue this community support through the end of December.
|“Kids are doing the kits!!! Some parents are coming back purposefully on Tuesdays to get the week’s new kit, which is really cool! The parents are all saying they are enjoying them, and they are fulfilling the goal of getting their families outside.” –D. Santora of MCHPP|
Our virtual events returned in September. Fall speakers are sharing their knowledge about The Wildlands of Monhegan Island, Expedition Everest and Climate Change, and Common Loons of Maine via Zoom. We are so appreciative of the scientists that volunteer their time to CREA to educate us about their incredible work. If you missed these presentations, you can find recordings on the News tab of our website or search for them in the Search box.
We are testing out a new location for Storywalk at our office at 179 Neptune Dr. in Brunswick. Located in a beautiful meadow behind the building, the fall StoryWalk features Beautiful Blackbird by Maine author Ashley Bryan.
Storywalk is open to the public seven days a week, dawn to dusk. We are happy to announce that with the help of volunteer, Sue Reed, we have available translations of the book in French and Portuguese so New Mainers living nearby can enjoy the story as well!