Acadiana Nature Station offers naturalist clubs for youngsters

The Acadiana Park Nature Station is registering 7- to 13-year-olds for its Young Naturalist and Junior Young Naturalist clubs, organized by the station to foster a love of nature.

Both clubs will give kids the chance to learn more about the plants and animals that inhabit the Nature Station, located in the wooded section of Acadiana Park.

Activities include learning about local wildlife, recording experiences in their nature journals and hiking through the Nature Station’s 110-acre campus to observe and identify native species.

“We spend half of our time with instruction and sharing, and then we spend half of our time on the trail,” said Stacy Scarce, curator of natural science for the Nature Station.

The kids in the Young Naturalist Club will be taken on field trips to the local planetarium and Lake Martin.

By the last meeting, the students will be able to identify different types and species of vines, animals, trees and bird calls, she said.

After completing the course, the kids are given the opportunity to return as a naturalist helper and aid in instructing new students.

The Junior Young Naturalist Club, for 7- to 9-year-olds, will meet every third Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon from July 19 until June of next year.

For 10- to 13-year-olds, the Young Naturalist Club will meet every third Saturday from Aug. 16 until November.

The clubs have been offered since 2010 and often fill their 20-student limit quickly, Scarce said.

For those interested in enrolling their kids in the program, visit the Nature Station at 1205 E. Alexander St., the website at naturestation.org or call (337) 291-8448.