By Emily Jaycox
For the Stettler Independent
If your family enjoys nature walks and looking for bugs and wildlife then you’ll want to join Nature Alberta at their Nature Kids BioBlitz event at Rochon Sands Provincial Park on Aug. 19.
This free event open to families in the Stettler area will be held from 12 to 2 p.m.
“Our program offers nature-based activities to families across the province,” said Zoe MacDougall, the program coordinator for Nature Alberta’s Nature Kids in Edmonton, in an email interview Aug. 7.
BioBlitz events are held all across Alberta, supported by local chapters.
Nature Kids started a chapter in Stettler earlier this year, called the “Heartland Nature Kids Chapter.”
Nature Alberta is a federation of natural history organizations that encourage the public to learn more about nature in their communities.
Children participating in the BioBlitz will have the chance to help Nature Alberta’s experts to look for, and identify, local plants, aquatic bugs and birds.
“One of the purposes of this BioBlitz event is actually to find out what sort of plants and animals we see in this area,” said MacDougall.
During the event, tally sheets will be kept and then the information will be inputted into the iNaturalist website where naturalists share biodiversity observations, says MacDougall.
There will be a presentation from summer technicians at the Nature Conservancy of Canada, based out of Red Deer as well as s presentation about bees and trees from the Agroforestry and Woodlot Extension Society.
Children will also enjoy pond dipping with the Battle River Watershed Alliance and plant nature walks with an instructor from Red Deer College.
Registration for the BioBlitz will begin right at noon at the event.
“We hope to see lots of families coming out to enjoy this free activity,” said MacDougall.
“We are just happy when families come out to join us in getting outside and learning all about nature.”
Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather for this outdoor event.
A location map will be posted on the Nature Alberta Facebook page the day before the event.
The Heartland Nature Kids Chapter also hosts explorer day field trips for its members every second month, according to MacDougall.
For more information, visit www.naturealberta.ca or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.