HAMILTON TOWNSHIP -- With the arrival of warm weather, many people are looking to get outside. An environmental education center in the Poconos not only helps people get outdoors, but also helps them learn more about nature and get involved in nature programs.
It was a day of hands-on learning about nature for some kids, interacting with creatures they probably don't see at home or in the classroom at the Kettle Creek Environmental Education Center near Bartonsville.
"We got to learn about different plants and animals, and got to go around when we were studying, got to identify trees. It was definitely fun," said Ariel Ibuaka, Swiftwater Intermediate School.
"It's a lot of fun because we get to learn about plants, animals, and nature, itself," said homeschooler Lea Gore.
On this day, it was a competition called Envirothon that brought schools from throughout the Poconos to the center. Soon the Monroe County Conservation District will host many kids going to numerous summer camps here, getting children to look at the world around them differently.
"People don't do environment much anymore. They're kind of more indoors; I don't see kids outside much anymore," said Stephanie Freire, Clear Run Intermediate School.
"That's the whole idea of our program, to get kids outside, get them acclimatized to being outside," said Craig Todd, Monroe Conservation District. "Now you hear kids, 'it's too hot, it's too cold.' It's never quite right."
The facility gets kids -- and in some programs their parents, too -- to get used to the outdoors, and then learn about it.
In the Poconos, many people are new to nature, moving here from the city.
"It's a totally new experience for them, and there's a lot of excitement on their faces when they finally get exposed to it, said Craig Todd with the Monroe Conservation District.
There are all kinds of trails so folks can get outside and explore nature, or even head inside the center to explore the outdoors, indoors. To see how you can experience nature, check out their website.