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Have you ever tried to figure out the best way to cheer someone up? What would be the words that would most quickly make someone smile, and turn the worst of days around?

For me, those words would be “February is almost over!” Stick those words on a greeting card and mail it to me, and you’ll make my whole week.

Anyone else out there tired of hunched-over shoulders and missing mittens and dirty windshields? Ready to call it quits with the frigid windchill and dirty slush that somehow gets everywhere? I know I am. Don’t get me wrong – I love fresh snow. I love the crisp clear air of winter. I even prefer being cold to being hot. But I’m at that point where enough is enough. Spring, you are welcome anytime now.

When you hear the word “spring,” what comes to mind? Sunshine, wind, tiny new blades of grass, rain showers, blue eggshells and baby robins...  Here in the midwest, every season brings physical change to our landscape, and spring is no exception. Our surroundings go through a complete overhaul, with snow and straw giving way to bright green fields, and trees filling with new leaves. Spring’s changes also introduce a sense of optimism into our dreary lives. Our moods lighten with the promise of warmer weather just around the corner.

This year, the first days of spring at Fontenelle Forest will bring more than nice weather – they also mark the kick-off of a brand new program called Hands-on-Habitat, designed especially for children ages 0-5 years old and their parents. The goal of Hands-on-Habitat is to help families explore the natural world together, by providing fun, experiential learning opportunities in which parents can easily guide their children. In addition to indoor activity, sensory, and craft stations, you’ll be able to join your children in dramatic play, and even get outside for a short hike, er...walk. We at Fontenelle Forest are so excited to welcome you to Hands-on-Habitat. We hope it’s a wonderful experience!

Our first Hands-on-Habitat event occurs on March 21st, the second official day of spring. It's free to ParentSavvy readers.  All you need to visit the Hands-on-Habitat event page.  We’ll be highlighting the new life all around us, both at the Forest and in our own backyards. Between comparing and contrasting parent and baby animals, studying life cycles, and creating beautiful flowers to take home, it’ll be a busy morning! Join us from 10 am to noon and celebrate all that spring has to offer. See you there!

Lindsay Cooley

from Fontenelle Forest

Lindsay is an environmental educator at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. She was born and raised in Omaha, and is happy to be back after spending the past four years interning and working at various nature centers around the country. Lindsay has a background in environmental science, and is passionate about cultivating a love of the natural world in children and adults alike. When she's not cutting out craft materials or taking kids on hikes, Lindsay loves birdi ...

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