State park is promoting Take a Child Outside Week

Published 11:53 pm Sunday, September 21, 2008

By Staff
Programs planned for children in area
Lifestyles &Features Editor
GOOSE CREEK STATE PARK — A national program designed to provide children with opportunities to discover the wonderful world of nature is coming to Goose Creek State Park this week.
Take a Child Outside Week kicks off Wednesday with a program titled “Stay Safe and Leave No Trace,” according to Kellie Thompson, park superintendent. The program, which begins at 5 p.m., focuses on cooking out, hiking and fishing — all components of a family camping trip.
The programs continue on Thursday with a study of wetlands, including a hike along the park’s Palmetto boardwalk. On Friday, youngsters and their parents are invited to play “Bug Safari Bingo,” complete with prizes.
Saturday’s program, “Seining the Pamlico,” begins at 10 a.m. at the swim beach. A Goose Creek ranger will assist in identifying fresh and salt water species found in the area. Be prepared to get your feet wet and bring your swimsuit, Thompson advised.
Next Sunday, at 3 p.m., the park will host a hike along the Live Oak Trail during which participants will learn tips on identifying trees according to bark and leaf features.
The exploration of Goose Creek by canoe will be offered to youngsters age 6 and older and their adult chaperones Sept. 29 beginning at 5 p.m. Thompson noted that since space is limited, those interested should preregister by calling (252) 923-2191. The guided trip is expected to last an hour and a half.
Goose Creek’s Take a Child Outside adventures conclude Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. with the popular “Fishing With a Ranger” program. Youngsters will be taught the basic skills of fishing; bait, and fishing poles will be provided. Because participation is limited to 10 participants, preregistration is recommended.
According to a news release from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, research shows that engaging children in nature programs promotes learning, creativity and healthy lifestyles. And, children who learn to play in natural settings are often more physically fit, score higher on tests of concentration and often simply enjoy life more fully.
Take a Child Outside Week was first held last year, and Goose Creek State Park staff have increased efforts to provide more opportunities for children this year, according to Thompson.
Offering outside activities for children is crucial, even if it’s just playing in the backyard, according to Thompson.
For more about Take a Child Outside Week, visit or contact Goose Creek State Park.