Here in cold country, we tend to hibernate (along side the bears) during the winter months. I've often been heard telling my son when asks to play outside "It's too cold out today, how about we stay inside and read, or color, or play with toys?." I remember very well playing outside in the cold and snow as much as I could when I was little. A time when the sounds of kids sledding down the snow piles, making snow forts or snowmen were normal any day of the winter. I'm sure I am not alone - and that many parents can be heard telling their children the same thing these days. What changed? Is it colder outside now than 20 years ago (doubtful!) or, are we just more lazy? Maybe we are just so attached to our TVs and computers or fear our ipod's would ruined if dropped in the frozen tundra? I am sure there are many factors that have led us to become more sedentary during the winter months - but our SHIP staff made it a goal to show the community (and myself) that there are fun things to do outside in the winter!
We set out on our mission to provide opportunities for our communities to become more aware of winter-time activities and ways to utilize our parks and trails during the winter months. We worked with our friends at Community Education to plan events which will promote out parks, while letting people try out new winter activities. We called up the folks at the Prairie Ecology Center in Lakefield and had them come over to do some snowshoeing in Fairmont and Blue Earth. Not only did the staff from the prairie ecology bus provide snowshoes for people to try, they also provided a Naturist to answer questions about animals, plants and Minnesota Winters.
We planned ice skating days in Butterfield and St. James (but those events had to be canceled due to the February thaw a few weeks back). Below you will find pictures of the brave community members who showed up to make tracks in Cedar Creek Park. (NOTE: we will post photos from the event in Blue Earth soon! :)
Click the link for more photos!
(NOTE: you will be directed to our facebook page).