Juliana Norling said a Weymouth Recreation Division summer artistic nature program is helping children appreciate Great Esker Park’s natural beauty.
“Since nature is so versatile they can be creative in their own way,” said Norling, a junior camp counselor for the art sessions.
Norling said she developed an appreciation for Great Esker Park’s natural beauty as a youngster while taking part in the Rovers program.
The Rovers help youngsters age four and 5-6 learn about Great Esker’s wildlife and ecology during weekly sessions, from late June through mid-August.
Weymouth Recreation Division parks coordinator Andrew Hultin said many children take part in summer programs during their formative years at Great Esker Park.
“We have a lot of kids who have spent their youth in this park,” he said. “A lot of our staff were campers, and they became leaders in training.”
The park has 237 acres of woodlands, walking paths, marshes, and eskers, which were formed by a stream underneath retreating glaciers during the Ice Age.
Hultin said the artistic nature program teaches children between ages 5-8, and 9-12.
“It is very popular,” he said. “We have four or five classes.”
Art teacher Karen Graham said the children designed wind chimes to illustrate the windy conditions in Great Esker, which borders the Back River.
“We try to incorporate anything natural that is in Esker,” she said.
Graham said some students shaped rubber into a snapping turtle to illustrate how these creatures live in the park’s marshes.
Hultin said the summer recreation program includes a Rovers session for children age 4, and 5-6, to appreciate nature by exploring the marshes with a counselor.
“They learn about crabs and animals that are in the marshes,” he said.
Rovers’ counselor Stephanie Tilden said the program tries to get the children engaged in the park by seeing animals.
“They are looking for crabs right now,” she said while some children explored a marsh. “We have seen deer, and we have ospreys….
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