Mystic, CT (January 28, 2021) — The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (DPNC) announces support from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, funding environmental education programs for children and families. Environmental education plays an essential role in understanding science for all ages.

“We are grateful for the support from Dominion Energy. This funding allows all members of the community to participate in environmental education. Now more than ever, it is important for children and families to have access to learning outdoors, for safety purposes due to Covid but also for the added benefit of nature allowing us to de-stress. We could all benefit from time to de-stress, both adults and children,” said Kim Hargrave, Director of Education. Studies have shown that children and adults who spend more time in nature are more resilient to stress and it reduces attention disorders, depression and anxiety, all of which have increased over the past year with the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Children learning about animal camouflage

This funding allows for the increase in program offerings with the addition of a second “Dig Into Nature” class each month, that meets on Saturday and is free for children ages 6 to 10 years old. Each program has a different, seasonally appropriate environmental theme, such as Animal Tracking in February, Vernal Pools in April, and Monarch Butterflies in September. 

In addition to programs for children, six family programs will also be offered, including a night hike and campfire, frog catching, seining, live animal programs and more. While many adults who are new to outdoor exploration can be nervous about spending time on trails, DPNC programs allow them to experience nature with their children and with a guide. Family programs give children and adults a chance to learn about and relax in nature. 

Another important component of this grant is funding scholarships for children to attend various programs, including homeschool, early childhood and vacation day classes, who would otherwise be unable to afford the fees.