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This Months Feature Story

Nature skills teach young people about the earth—and themselves

By Kira Maddox

It’s the middle of summer on a hot June day. A group of kids trek through Arnot Forest, a 4,000-plus-acre expanse of woodland just south of Ithaca in the Finger Lakes.

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© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York

Dreams of Summer


Hundreds of people flocked to Family Times’ Summer Fun and Camp Fair at the State Fairgrounds on April 11, drawn by the chance to plan their families’ vacations in one day. And while the weather outside was chilly, inside parents and kids got a chance to fantasize about summer, and the prospect of memorable experiences at farms, theaters, libraries, play spaces, camps and more. Visitors met ducklings from Rohe Farms, goats and other animals from Fort Rickey Children’s Discovery Zoo, pit bulls from Cuse Pit Crew, a fairy tale princess, an ostrich-like bird from Open Hand Theater’s stock of giant puppets, and Wyldstyle and Emmet of The Lego Movie. And they left filled with ideas to plan a summer of fun.

Michael Davis photos