Friday, June 18, 2010

"Opie's World" is a natural experience

A free event to give families a chance to get out in the natural world will be held from noon to 4 p.m. June 24 at the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority’s Maltby Lakes Recreation Area on the West Haven/Orange town line on Route 34.
The program, dubbed “Opie’s World: Tap Into Nature,” will be put on by the water authority’s Claire C. Bennitt Recreation Program, the agency said in a statement. The program is intended to help area residents “about the need to be environmentally conscious and protect watersheds and aquifers as well as get children outside to help them develop a sense of wonder about the natural world,” the statement said.
“Opie’s World is a program we began in 2006 to first, introduce children and their parents to the beauty and joy of nature, and second, to impress upon them that the environment is precious and needs to be protected,” Larry L. Bingaman, RWA president and chief executive officer said in the statement. “Areas like these around the Maltby Lakes are particularly precious; they are typical of where we get our drinking water from, so by protecting the environment we are also protecting ourselves.”
Opie’s World: Tap Into Nature, is named after Opie, a cartoon opossum, the statement said. The event will include, among other activities, fishing, nature crafts, and a chance for children to feel real bear fur from Yale’s Peabody Museum, the statement said.
“This event helps children develop that sense of wonder that is so important to their development. They will learn about the natural world through their own senses rather then through nature programs on TV. The timing of the event also gives grandparents who are taking care of grandchildren, parents who may be taking time off, and day care providers, a healthy activity to do with their kids,” Kate Powell, RWA’s communications and outreach manager, said, also in the statement. “There’s a lot for them all to do, so we invite families to come to the Maltby Lakes and ‘Tap into Nature.’”

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