Children Outdoors in Montreat:
Experience, Fun and Education Across Generations
Our vision is that Montreat will be a place where children (and their mentors) joyfully experience a healthy outdoor environment and build caring lifelong engagements with the natural world.
The Montreat cove supplies a treasure trove of natural wonders for all. It offers healthy outdoor settings where children can enjoy creeksides and mountain trails. These experiences often lead to lifelong enjoyment of nature. In partnership with some of the region’s most successful outdoor education organizations, new and contemporary educational resources for the community’s residents and visitors have been established under a Montreat Landcare project. (Image from Montreat Conference Center.)
- ecoEXPLORE (Experiences Promoting Learning Outdoors for Research and Education) is an incentive-based citizen science program for children in grades K-8. It combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging them to explore the outdoors, take pictures, and participate in citizen science. See https://www.ecoexplore.net/about/. Three “hotspot” signs in Montreat are at Walk Jones Wildlife Sanctuary, the Nature Center, and Robert Lake Park (see location map at https://www.ecoexplore.net/locations/). Other locations are in Buncombe County and across the state.
- TRACK Trail is a self-guided, science-based nature walk for children in Montreat, one of 160 such trails across America. See http://www.kidsinparks.com/montreat. Brochures for self-guided outings along Lake Susan and the Gate Trail are at the new kiosk by Moore Center. Similar facilities are nearby at Black Mountain Veterans Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. Parents, see a list of tips for making the experiences outdoors a joy at http://www.kidsinparks.com/parents-teachers.
- Nature backpacks with all sorts of supplies for children and adults to use in exploring the Montreat Cove Ecosystem are available for check-out at the Nature Center. This is a pilot project being tested this summer by a student from Montreat College’s Outdoors Education Program.
Landcare gratefully acknowledges the cooperation and contribution of the Montreat Conference Center in providing space and access points for these activities.