Swamp Creek Park-learning close to home

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Spring is here and we are finally getting out and enjoying some of our favorite local parks.  One of our go to places is a small park just a few minutes from our house.  It appeals to us, in part, because there is a paved walkway (8/10 mile).  It is a great place to walk when other places are too muddy or snowy.   It is a loop that we have dubbed “The Circle Park,” since having kids.  It is just the right amount of walk to pull a wagon along, to tire an energetic toddler or to walk a few laps with our now 4, 7 and 9 year old.

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There is much to observe in the way of birds, bugs and plants.  We discovered something growing on this tree on our last walk.

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Aside from the natural education, the park offers opportunities to learn about history as well.  There is an old school house, a summer kitchen and a kitchen garden.  We checked all of these out more closely on our recent walk.

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A flyer available at the summer kitchen informed us that it is the last remaining structure of a 19th century farmstead.  The demonstration garden, which is located in front of the summer kitchen, provides a glimpse into some of the items that may have been grown here in the 19th century.

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Much to my children’s delight, a small set of swings was recently added to the park.

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There is a model airplane field at the park as well and we have often watched the planes dip and dive as we walk.

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Though we have spent many mornings, afternoons and evenings walking this simple path, we took advantage of new learning opportunities on our recent trip.  It is proof that we don’t have to travel far from home to make new discoveries if we observe our surroundings carefully.  We had walked by the buildings at the park numerous times but hadn’t taken time to talk with the kids about what a summer kitchen is or what they think it would be like to learn in the Swamp Creek School House.  This walk was a great reminder to always be looking for those teachable and (learnable) moments!

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What learning opportunities are available in your community?  Take another look at your surroundings and make some discoveries with your children!

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