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COLUMBIA - A group of twenty preschoolers and their parents explored the nature in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park on Wednesday morning. Parents helped their children dig bugs and mushrooms from under old logs with the guidance of park naturalists.

Meredith Donaldson works as a volunteer naturalist at the state park, and she is also the coordinator of this Nature Detectives program.

"I think it's really important to children at this age to form an early attachment to the nature," Donaldson said.

Megan Anz was there with her two children. She said it was her first time to explore the nature together with her three-year-old daughter and sixteen-month-old son in such an amazing way.

"I learned just how easy it is to take them out. They just have spoons and little bucket and they can have so much fun by digging under logs and just stuffs," Anz said.

The program is not only for young children. Donaldson said the naturalists also hope parents can learn to explore with their young children and eventually help themselves to embrace nature.

The program is sponsored by Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. It is free to preschoolers from three to six and their parents. Each class has a unique theme, and it takes about one and half hours. Donaldson said they will explore caves and streams in the rest of the classes over the summer.

The classes will take place at 9:30am and 10:30am on:
Saturday Jul 9
Saturday July 16
Wednesday July 20
Wednesday August 10

To register, email or leave a message at 573-443-0104.