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CURB Hosts Lanza Learning Center for 6-Week Nature Program

by Sarah Lawrence College CLIP Intern Emily Orr

This summer we are partnering once again with the New Little Branches Daycare / Lanza Learning Center for a total of six weeks, guiding their learning experience in our environment through immersive nature-based activities. Every Wednesday they engage in a range of lessons and projects centered around nature and the Hudson River. When we began at the end of June we spent time getting to know one another, decorating journals, and making miniature boats out of driftwood, sticks and other natural materials that we then released off into the Hudson. For our second week we facilitated a CAPE (Community Adventure Play Experience) with the support of Rachel Ford from the Child Development Institute at Sarah Lawrence College who kindly loaned us their materials. In this activity Lanza engaged with natural and recycled objects and materials however they felt moved to. Our third week was centered around plants, and we examined plant clippings from our marsh, made a picture collage and assembled bean germination bags. The next week we planted our sprouting beans, went on a Harbishaw marsh walk looking for birds, and colored in pictures on the picnic tables. 

Lanza students releasing boats into the river

For the last two weeks of our time together we’ll be looking deeper at the wildlife in our Hudson River, making fish art and bringing them into the water to help catch and release fish and other Hudson River animals with our seine net for our last day.

Working with Lanza has been an absolute joy, and I’ve learned so much from them about the ways we can safely engage with nature and show kindness towards it while learning within and from the resources it provides. The idea of play, art and curiosity have been underlying themes during these weeks, and the space at CURB allows for a safe environment for these experiences to happen. Thank you for spending your Wednesday afternoons with us Lanza!