Mini-Grant Success Story – Ned Smith Center
In 2018, the Ned Smith Center applied to Get Outdoors PA for mini-grant funds when they realized that the prevalence of technology and video games were a primary source of entertainment for kids while taking time to study and observe the natural world around us was being lost. Children and teens were not developing a basic understanding or appreciation of nature. Kids and adults alike were not getting exposure to the natural world today as in previous generations. Another concern was that the benefits of spending time in the natural world were being lost, especially for upcoming generations who rely heavily on their mobile devices. The thought of leaving these behind and heading into a natural landscape for enjoyment is almost unheard of. However, spending time in the wild, natural landscapes has many benefits: calming effects, restoring emotional balance and improving mental well-being.
To help combat these issues, the Ned Smith Center offers summer camps, including the Junior Naturalist Camp that provides children the opportunity to observe and enjoy many aspects of the natural environment. With the help of $1,591 in Get Outdoors PA Mini-grant funds, the Ned Smith Center was able to offer Nature Photography by purchasing cameras and printers to capture images of the natural world. Camp lessons included night lighting to capture moths, Nature Journaling, Nature Photography, Biological Stream Assessment, Hikes, Bird Banding, Bird and Animal Adaptations, Predator-Prey-Food Web, Environmental Stewardship, and the Impact of Invasive Species.
The Ned Smith Center says the key to success is Partnerships!