MASSENA - The Nature Center at Robert Moses State Park has been providing environmental education programs to the community for over 20 years and looks to wrap up another successful one due in part to grants provided by the Alcoa Foundation.
Their year-long grant with the foundation is due to terminate in October, and the Nature Center already has another grant due to begin with the group once their current one concludes. The current grant is called Mind, Body, Soul - Come Alive and has been focused on the arts and healthy living according to Executive Director Mary Danboise.
That grant was a little over $18,000. That allows us to put together a whole lot of programs for teaching people artistic skills. It also allowed us to put together over 40 programs focused on the arts and healthy living. Theyve been really successful, Ms. Danboise said. Its made a huge difference with the programming that weve been able to bring to the community. Weve been fortunate enough to get grants from the foundation. We are one of many, many organizations to apply for these grants. Nothing is ever guaranteed, and we have been very fortunate.
Ms. Danboise also pointed out there are still many programs coming up soon before the expiration of the grant.
On Friday there will be a campfire cooking followed by a star walk with local astronomer Bruce McClure. During the star walk, Mr. McClure will field questions that guests have about stars and the numerous constellations. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and end at 9 p.m.
The Nature Centers next grant from Alcoa is named Earthkeepers and will be a bit different from the existing one.
Since the last grant focused on the arts and health, the new grant called Earthkeepers is for $20,000. Its about green living. We will be working on developing investigative and scientific skills with participants so that they will learn how they can make a difference in their community or school, Ms. Danboise said. Were going to focus on school groups and special interests groups, as well as the general public. Were really bringing technology into the hands of the participants with this grant.
Ms. Danboise added that Earthkeepers will be the third grant from the Alcoa Foundation over the past five years.
She also explained that the new grant will enable the creation of a new program, as well as an implementation of more advanced technology.
People will learn how to use digital cameras, go out and use them to explore nature. Were connecting the technology with science. Were going to be purchasing some iPads and some time lapse cameras to be used on the trails. Right now we have one camera on the trail that we always post photos on our Facebook page. Were going to be using that kind of technology with those programs, Ms. Danboise said. Were going to have a new club with this grant. It is a Junior Earthkeepers Club for kids ages 5-12. We will have monthly meetings and the kids will have the hands on equipment and do all kinds of fun activities on the trails. Theyre going to have their own Facebook page also. It will be very interactive.
For more information regarding the Nature Center or the programs they offer, visit www.massenanaturecenter.org or call (315) 705-5022. You may also send an e-mail to email@example.com or find the group on Facebook by searching for Friends of Robert Moses State Park Nature Center.