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UMN Extension & SMC Early Childhood Connections Announce an Inclusive Nature Themed Family Social

May 23, 2023 10:42AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Charlein Gracia 

From Sawtooth Mountain Clinic Early Childhood Connections and U of M Extension - May 23, 2023

 There are many benefits to spending time outdoors as a family. Children and adults of all ages and all abilities can improve their mental and physical health, as well as find social connections and fun by taking time to play, walk, or simply be in nature. We are lucky in Cook County to have lots of places to play outdoors, but sometimes it can be intimidating to take your young kids out to play. An upcoming event aims to make outdoor play welcoming and possible for Cook County families. 

Join us on Saturday, June 3rd from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Pincushion Mountain for a morning of Outdoor Exploration Activities and social time with other families, friends, caregivers and children. All are welcome. We will be right outside the chalet building (a 1-minute walk from the parking lot) to welcome your family. There is free parking at the Pincushion Mountain trailhead and a vault toilet is available. 

“Playing in the woods and fields at Pincushion Mountain is for everyone!”, says Sarah Waddle, UMN Extension Educator, “The activities we have planned are flexible, open ended. We are looking forward to enjoying a morning outdoors with caregivers and young kids.” The event will feature: Nature exploration and play, Free books about nature to take home, snacks, an indoor spot in case you need a place to decompress or feed a baby, and other families to meet and make friends with.

Jodi Tervo Roberts, one of the event organizers shared, “This event is being planned with inclusivity at its core. This means we want everyone to feel welcome including caregivers and/or children who have differing abilities including neurodiversity, language diversity, physical or any other differences. We will have an ASL interpreter on site. Is there something that we can do to make it possible for your family to join us? We want to make sure all feel welcome and that everyone who wants to participate can. This said, we need to know what accommodations you will need to make that possible.” Please contact Jodi at: [email protected].

This program is a partnership between Sawtooth Mountain Clinic and Cook County UMN Extension.  

There is no cost, and no registration is required. Come as you are. 

About the Facilitators: Sarah Waddle is the Local U of MN Extension Educator for Cook County. She connects Cook County families and communities to University of MN resources and works together with the community to provide education that promotes health and resilience.

Jodi Tervo Roberts is the Early Childhood Connections Coordinator for families in Cook County, under the Early Childhood Community Hub Grant housed within Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. 

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