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Bringing Children Closer To Nature

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POSTED: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 5:16pm

UPDATED: Monday, November 28, 2011 - 11:04am

EDINBURG - It's called Spectacular Saturday at the Edinburg World Birding Center and for good reason.

"We saw some eggs from the ducks and a lot of fishes..."

"Our goal is to expose children and even families to nature, the outdoors," said Monica Barrera, Environmental Educator at the World Birding Center.

The center opened eight years ago and was the first of nine World Birding Centers to open across the Rio Grande Valley.

It sits on 40 acres and was built around two ponds that were already on site.

"It's clean enough for the animals and birds to enjoy it, so they built the wetland around it," said Barrera.

The public is invited to visit the center for free the last saturday of every month.
There are activities, games and educational arts & crafts made available to children.

"We try to teach them how to do envrionmentally conscious activities so they can learn and have fun at the same time."

It seems this tucked away nature site is the perfect place for learning.

During scheduled activities, students and visitors are allowed to actually catch specimens in the Dragon Fly pond for educational purposes.

"They get to see whether the pond is healthy or not, because there are some species that are indicators and they'll tell you that it's a healthy pond, or some species will tell you that it's really polluted."

During these activities, Barrera tells us the kids sometimes experience unique encounters.

"They collect the tadpoles and insects into little trays and there have been times where the Kiskadee (bird) will actually fly down, snatch the tadpole and fly back to the perch and eat it."

Spectacular Saturdays work towards drawing the public in.

"Expose people to our center for free so that they can come get to know us.  Maybe consider visiting us again, consider getting our membership, visiting us more often."

The center offers yearly memberships which will also give you discounts on programs and trips...as well as merchandise in their gift shop.
 

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