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Mamaroneck Daily Voice serves Larchmont & Mamaroneck
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Kids See Nature up Close at Environmental Center

LARCHMONT, N.Y. - The kids in the Sheldrake Environmental Center's June mini-camp used hand-made binoculars to take in the sights on a tour of the Larchmont Reservoir Wednesday before rain forced them inside.

"The cardboard binoculars are just an example of one of our fun crafts that we do with the kids that shows how we can recycle and re-use things," said Mary B. Davis, the Sheldrake Environmental Center program director.

The June mini-camp, for ages four and five, began June 6 and ends Friday. The center, established in 2001, also runs programs throughout the year.

"Here, our big mission is education and environmental awareness," Davis said. "We reach out to all ages through our programs."

Programs such as the June mini-camp are designed to gets kids outdoors by utilizing their three locations. In addition to the 60-acre reservoir at 685 Weaver St, they also offer the Sheldrake River Trail on Rockland Avenue and Dog Park next to Larchmont Manor.

"Most people take their dogs there, but we take the kids there," Davis said.

The center also offers a training program in October for adults interested in the natural world or who want to become a volunteer environmental educator.

Davis, who has been program director for seven years, is concerned that children spend more time inside than outside and wants to reverse that trend.

"They don't really get a chance to be part of the natural world," she said. "I really feel like it's a need that we have to just be in it, periodically."

Though the June mini-camp ends Friday, a summer nature camp for ages three and up begins July 5 and runs through August 12.

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