Putnam County Nature Play Days coming this month

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Nature Play Days are a being held across Indiana between June 10 and June 18 to encourage families to play outdoors and reap the physical, mental and emotional benefits nature play provides.

Putnam County Nature Play Days is a partnership with the Greencastle Sustainability Committee and the BE WELL Putnam County Hospital Community Wellness Initiative. The primary goal of Nature Play Days is to reconnect children and families with the outdoors and provide a space for outdoor exploration and fun. Attendance to all events is free and open to the public.

Children today spend, on average, 50 hours a week on a device and more than 90 percent of their time indoors. The rise of childhood obesity and diseases such as Attention Deficit Disorder are challenges for children across the country from every social and economic class. Thankfully, time spent outdoors supports many aspects of children’s mental, emotional, and physical health as well as cognitive development, team-building skills, and interpersonal relationships.

Nature Play Days are an opportunity for nature lovers and the underserved to connect with nature and begin to create what will hopefully be a lifelong relationship with and in nature.

Nature Play Days will feature information centers and play areas where the community can experience the outdoors and all of its wonder. Participants can post photos to social media using the #ICANNaturePlayDay hashtag to win prizes. Be sure to pick up your “passports” so you can get it stamped at every event you attend. Prizes will be awarded to those participating in three or more events. Prizes will be drawn for and announced at the Final Hike on Sunday, June 19.

Passports can be picked up at the following participating locations: Putnam County Hospital, Putnam County Library, Putnam County Museum and Farmers Market.

Saturday, June 10

8:30 a.m.-noon -- Farmers Market (Downtown Greencastle)

Cardboard Box Playground: Appliance boxes from Shuee and Sons will be available for play.

Sunday, June 11

2 p.m. -- DePauw Nature Park

Discovery Hike

5 p.m. -- Putnam County Museum

Plant a Butterfly Garden at the native plant display

Monday, June 12

9 a.m. -- DePauw Farm (West County Road 225 South)

Gardening 101: A lesson and firsthand experience on starting a garden

Groups will be planting, watering, weeding and harvesting

2 p.m. -- Putnam County Public Library

Plant a Butterfly Garden outside the Children’s Library

Tuesday, June 13

8 a.m. -- Asbury Towers Retirement Center (102 W. Poplar St.)

Plant a Butterfly Garden

Wednesday, June 14

8 a.m. -- DePauw Nature Park

Morning hike led by Joanne Haymaker

7 p.m. -- Mary Rogers Field (next to City Hall)

Plant a Butterfly Waystation at the Mary Rogers Field Garden by City Hall with the Greencastle Sustainability Commission

Mayor Bill Dory will also make a Monarch pledge for the city

Thursday, June 15

9 a.m. -- Putnam County Foundation (2 S. Jackson St.)

Plant a Butterfly Garden

5 p.m. -- People Pathways Nature Trail

Place bird houses along the Nature Trail with People Pathways

Friday, June 16

9 a.m. -- Putnam County Hospital (lawn between the hospital and The Waters)

Plant a Butterfly Garden

2 p.m. -- Putnam County Public Library

Learn about butterflies, bees and insect gardens

Saturday, June 17

8:30 a.m.-noon -- Farmers Market (downtown Greencastle)

Cardboard Box Playground: Appliance boxes from Shuee and Sons will be available for play.

11 a.m. -- Putnam County Museum

Stargazing program

Sunday, June 18

2 p.m.

DePauw Nature Park

Final hike and drawing of prizes for anyone with at least three activities completed


Nature Play Days are an initiative of the Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN). ICAN builds collaborative efforts to encourage children spending time in the natural environment. The project is an initiative of the Environmental Education Association of Indiana (EEAI).

More information and a listing of Nature Play Days across the state is available on the ICAN website: www.IndianaChildrenAndNature.org.

For more information or if you have questions, contact John Garner at johngailgarner@gmail.com or 653-4924.

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