Children who have enjoyed the weekly lessons on marine life, wetlands and other fun outdoor activities at the Bethany Beach Nature Center – and those that have yet to see what the fuss is about – are being invited on a special free guided kayak tour through the inland bays on Saturday, Sept. 11.
Nature Center Director and Eco-Bay Kayaking owner Lisa Daisey said it will basically run like a Nature Center field trip. Instead of learning about the bays and all they have to offer at the center, they will get to see it first-hand.
“There will be three time slots, so children need to reserve a slot,” explained Daisey. She also said life jackets would be provided, and there are some double kayaks for younger children or for those who want to ride with a parent.
“We’ll go out and talk about the wetlands and the osprey and the terrapin turtles,” explained Daisey, “and we’ll go out along Pasture Point,” leaving from James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View.
The Bethany Beach Nature Center’s indoor facility is located inside the historic Addy Cottage, which was moved to the site and restored by the Town of Bethany Beach. In addition to the outdoor trail, which is open from dawn to dusk, there is a handicapped-accessible boardwalk along which educational signs abound. Inside the center, visitors can explore the watershed virtually, through the high-tech “I-wall.” The center is funded, in part, by the Center for the Inland Bays (CIB).
Throughout the year, Daisey said, many of the same familiar faces have been coming to the Center and enjoying their weekly sessions. In April of this year, the youth planted a garden, which includes sunflowers, marigolds, morning glory and gourds, at the Center and they made pavers from shells that they collected on their last field trip, which was called “Beach Combing” and held this spring. Also, this summer, the youth heard about marine life from representatives from the MERR Institute in Lewes.
Daisey will be assisted by Karen Knight of the Nature Center and by CIB volunteer and Coastal Kayak employee Bob Collins so they can keep things moving along. Each will take a group out, at 9, 10 and 11 a.m., for about an hour-long tour.
“It’ll be short and sweet,” said Daisey. “And it’s free. And they can learn a little bit while having fun.”
Call the Bethany Beach Nature Center to reserve a spot for a child, at (302) 537-7680.
For adults, Daisey said she will be continuing her Eco-Bay Kayaking tours from James Farm through October, adding that the fall is “the best time to go!”