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Spring Into Nature

April 20, 2013

by: Jen Cooper

The city of St. Louis is blessed to have a wide variety of activities and attractions at its fingertips. From the Arch to the Magic House and Union Station to the Science Center, there are many wonderful opportunities. However, if a family wants to enjoy the great outdoors, the Missouri Department of Conservation offers beautiful parks and reserves.

On Saturday, April 20th, 2013, the families of the Pujols Family Foundation were treated to a “Spring into Nature” outdoor event at Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood, Missouri. Rockwoods Reservation was established in 1938, making it one of the oldest conservation areas. It harbors a rich diversity of plant and animal life as well as springs, caves and rock formations. The family event was open to people of all ages with Down syndrome. As parents and children took a step away from the hustle and bustle of the city, they entered the beautiful outdoors as it was in spring’s bloom. As families checked-in to the event, they received a map full of activities being offered that day.

Tree Tales: Participants sat on a blanket underneath a tree to hear a short story and learned about important products that come from trees.

Animal Exploration: An array of animals commonly found in Missouri was on display. There were even able to touch some of the living animals.

Crafting Station: Participants were able to create their own nature booklet to help keep track of all their wonderful outdoor memories.

Dutch Oven Outdoor Cooking: Camp fire safety was discussed and delicious chicken chili and pineapple upside cake were made.

There were also additional hikes available. They ran for 45 minutes each and went out on an Accessible Nature Trail, a nearby stream and also to an area pond. Each hike was led by an experienced guide that was able to share their expertise of the area. While all these fun activities were going on, the hub of all the activity congregated around the picnic tables. Fire pits were constructed to allow for everyone to roast their own hotdogs. Families were able to pick from a variety of fruit and chips to accompany their tasty John Morrell hot dogs. Refreshing Cold Stone Creamery ice cream was then enjoyed as everyone sat around and connected with other families in attendance.

As the event was coming to an end, it was clear that not everyone was ready to leave for the day. Many of the families stayed and continued to explore on their own. Whether a family took advantage of all the activities offered or if they took the opportunity for a relaxed day in nature, it was clear that everyone had a great time. Hopefully this new event will be a returning favorite in the future.

We would like to extend a special thank you to the following people for their valuable contributions that made this event a success: The Missouri Department of Conservation, John Morrell, Cold Stone Creamery, Pepsi, Kennett Portrait Design and all of our volunteers!


April 20, 2013
Event Category:

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