Animal Architects


Family Nature Night seeks to study nature’s builders

When you are out exploring, it may seem that nature is a bit chaotic, and while that may be true, you simply have to look more closely to see that much in nature is by design.

Animal Architects is the subject that will be studied at the Dickinson County Nature Center’s next Family Nature Night set for 5 p.m. Friday, April 28. This free monthly event is geared toward encouraging families with children of all ages to explore nature and learn about a specific topic every month.

There is a lot to be learned about studying the structures and habitats that animals build and humans have been learning from animals for years.

“Animal architects could be considered the inspiration for early human architecture leading to human survival,” according to Jackie Jerge, the community relations coordinator with the Dickinson County Nature Center. “By observing animals in their habitat, we can learn about engineering and building, even the social influence of communities and working together in groups. And the simplest answer is that animals are smart, beautiful creatures. Watching animals of all kinds in their own habitats is awe inspiring.”

They’ll be heading outdoors to explore what animals have been up to this winter as well as possibly taking what they’ve learned and building some structures of their own.

“Horseshoe Bend Recreation Area offers a natural space to explore animal homes and even practice building our own shelters,” said Britney Snell, a naturalist with the Dickinson County Nature Center. “I look forward to showcasing this Dickinson County property at the April Family Nature Night. Grab your mud boots and join in on all the fun!”

Preregistration is required for this event and must be completed online at two days prior to the event. Attendees are cautioned to dress appropriately for the weather as part of the class will most likely take place outdoors.

Jerge hopes that this monthly program gives families a chance to focus back in on nature and on each other.

“I hope families use our free programming to tune in to nature and learn new ways to appreciate it,” Jerge said.

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