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Monday, June 28, 2010

Protecting the environment

Event at Maltby Lakes gave kids a look at nature

Children from throughout South Central Connecticut hammered, drilled, planted, stamped, and tried to identify different turtle species recently at Opie’s World, a special event at Maltby Lakes Recreation Area held by the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, the agency said in a statement.

“The purpose of this annual event is to introduce families to nature and demonstrate the value of protecting our precious environment,” Larry L. Bingaman, RWA president and CEO said in the statement. “Watershed areas like the one at the Maltby Lakes Recreation Area are typical of where we get our drinking water, so by protecting the environment of the watershed, we are protecting ourselves.”
Jason Kirck of Orange, who brought his three daughters – McKenna, 1; Meghan, 4; and Emma, 5, agreed, the statement said. Two of the girls caught fish.
“This is great. There’s lots of hands-on opportunities for the kids,” he said. “It gives the kids life experiences. It teaches them a lot about nature.”
Each child was given a canvas backpack to decorate with their own designs, using markers, the statement said.
Andrew and Justin Coppola, 5 and 6, respectively, of North Haven, were able to identify a land turtle from a water turtle that the Ansonia Nature Center had on display, the statement said.
Their mother, Tricia Coppola, explained that it came easily to them because North Haven has an integrated education program that combines nature with regular school subjects, the statement said. The boys’ friend, Scott, worked with a box turtle during the school year, so they were familiar with the shape of land turtle shell, she said in the statement.

“All in all, it was a good day,” Kate Powell, RWA’s communications and outreach manager said, also in the statement. “We had a good crowd of families who learned about nature while having a good time.”

The RWA provides water and/or owns watershed property in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Killingworth, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Prospect, Seymour, West Haven and Woodbridge.

In the photos: Meghan, 4, and Emma Kirck, 5, of Orange. And, Jenna McIntyre, right, of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s Kellogg Nature Center, helps Avia Diffenderffer, 3, of New Haven.

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