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Explore and protect

My husband and I run a small lawn mowing company. This year we have the pleasure of working at nine parks across Hardin County. What I love is that we get to visit and nurture nine unique gems in Hardin County. Their pristine and calm beauty are unmatched.

I encourage you to research your local conservation website to learn about the different parks, campgrounds, prairies, and recreation areas available. Consider taking your family on a canoe trip, picnic, nature hike, bike ride or go camping. What wonderful opportunities we have within in our own area.

Here’s how to get your children involved (www.parentmap.com):

Take a magnifying glass and explore!

Bring a bug or caterpillar container and see what you can capture.

Find a quiet place to observe birds or identify sounds in nature.

Plan a scavenger hunt.

Take a Crayola box and see how many colors you can match.

While mowing these properties with my husband, I have realized that visitors often don’t cherish county parks like they should. I am still amazed at the amount of trash left behind. From cans to diapers, and shotgun shells to cups we have seen it all.

Here’s how your family can help protect County Parks:

If you visit a county park, remember to take an extra trash bag and gloves with you. Consider volunteering some time to pick up trash left behind. Remember to take trash you created with you!

When cans are left behind, collect them and take them to be recycled. As a reward, let children purchase a treat with the money collected.

After a bad storm, visit a nearby park and pick up broken branches and limbs.

Volunteer with your local Conservation Board.

I really hope that you and your family explore and protect the world around you. There are amazing memories that lie ahead, if you just make them.

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Carrie Kube is a director for Iowa River Valley Early Childhood Area Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed are that of the author and not the board and/or its community partners.