World of Wonder—WOW— is a partnership between Davidson Lands Conservancy and Woodland Discovery By Katie Noble
World of Wonder was just getting geared up to hold our weekly, spring through fall, hands-on nature booth at the Davidson Farmers Market when COVID shut everything down. WOW committee members did indeed wonder, “How can we reach children staying at home and encourage spending time outdoors and learning about the natural world?”
Thus were born Nature WOW-NOW Kits, a “to-go” form of nature and science-based activity kits!
With help from local partners, including the Carolina Raptor Center that donated owl pellets for student dissection, we assembled nature activity bags for 60 children at Ada Jenkins for our first round. The kits included fun outdoor craft materials and science activities.
The Ada Jenkins Center’s summer interns, Kathryn Abely and Ben Baker, provided remote instruction to guide the children in using their supplies and tools. According to Kathryn, “They had a ton of fun and were really into the owl pellet dissection especially! They would excitedly poke around the pellet with the toothpicks and separate the bones from the hair/fur and then hold up what they found when I called out different types of bones, which was really cool to see!”
We gave our next round of bags—complete with DLC’s Backyard Books Bird edition and other bird-themed activities—to the 16 Pre-K students at Davidson Cornelius Child Development Center. The class took their bird guides to the Ada Jenkins pollinator garden and used them to identify nearby feathered friends.
One tenet of the Davidson Lands Conservancy mission is to foster a conservation ethic in our community, which we believe begins with an appreciation and love of nature. WOW and DLC aim to spark and share that love with children in our area.
We are grateful for community support and creative volunteers, including students from Davidson K-8 and Cannon School who helped assemble the bags. If you are interested in volunteering time or supplies for this effort, please contact [email protected].