By Jessica Jones
For the Stettler Independent
For Chris Pfeifle, taking in the great outdoors and being in nature is something he has always done.
But today, with screens all around us, which keep us beholden to the indoors, kids are “missing things,” he says.
It is well-known that early outdoor activities and outdoor play are linked to physical and cognitive development in children, and in addition to gaining an appreciation for nature, it is with these sentiments that, Pfeifle, president of the Buffalo Lake Nature Club (BLNC), has his sights set on offering events and nature activities focused around kids. The challenge is that someone needs to come forward to help spearhead these initiatives, Pfeifle said.
The Buffalo Lake Nature Club, made up of many prominent members, was formed in Stettler in 1973. It has grown over time but Pfeifle says most members are around age 50.
“This is one of the things that we have to improve upon in our club,” he said.
Nature Alberta, which the BLNC is an affiliate of, does offer a program called Nature Kids and hosts family nature nights for some clubs around the province, but things didn’t seem to materialize with that partnership this year.
“We tend to be indoors, stuck on our computers and on our phones and it is important to get out and learn about these things,” Pfeifle said. He said one like-minded, nature presenter called the lack of getting into nature, “nature deficit disorder” during a school presentation he attended.
“And according to him, there is widespread concerns if you don’t get out and enjoy that,” Pfeifle said, who strives to bring more kids and families into the club. “Especially with young people, getting out in nature really helps them,” he said.
The Club encourages people in Stettler and surrounding areas to gain knowledge and appreciation by offering many outdoor activities, which include monthly meetings, featured guest speakers, nature walks, and events like the butterfly count, Christmas bird count and nocturnal owl count.
Meetings are held every third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. at St. Georges Anglican Church, 4817 – 51st St.
For a complete list of upcoming events and activities, or for more information, visit www.buffalolakenature.com.