Free programs encourage kids to get outside and explore nature

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –Local kids get to explore plant and animal diversity thanks to backpacks loaded with educational tools in one of two open space summer programs.

The Open Space Visitor Center is hosting “Summer Explorations” for youth ages 12-16, on Thursdays through July 27. Kids will explore the Bosque ecosystem and observe fascinating plant and animal life, as well as play, learn, hike, and build.

Space is limited to 10 students. Please call (505) 897-8831 for more info and to register.

The other Open Space program is called “Open Space Explorer Backpacks: Self-guided Adventures” and happens Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., starting Saturday, July 8.

Throughout the year, visitors will be able to check out a backpack from the Open Space Visitor Center front desk and use the materials within to have a unique adventure. Each backpack is filled exciting self-guided activities with themes including local flora, fauna, and culture.

A valid picture I.D. is required to check out the packs, which must be returned to the front desk before 4:30 p.m.

Visitors using the packs can enjoy wildlife viewing areas, wetland and Bosque habitats, indoor and outdoor art displays, wildlife fields, archeology exhibits, interpretive gardens, Bosque trails, and more!

Call 897-8831 to reserve a backpack for a particular time and day.

For more information on the programs, visit the Open Space website.