Children's summer activities start up next week

The Nolan Center, Irene Ingle Public Library and Parks and Recreation have teamed up to keep kids entertained this summer.

Starting June 3 and running through Aug. 16, there will be morning and afternoon activities Monday through Friday like open swim, open gym, art classes, movies, Forest Explorers and reading activities.

Parks and Recreation will host open swim at the pool from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Open gym will be held at the community center Monday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Regular drop-in rates will apply at the pool and community center.

At the library, there will be summer reading program help available Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Kids can also attend a craft and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) session at the library Thursday afternoons from 1:30 until 3 p.m. Both activities at the library will be free of charge.

The Nolan Center will show a different movie at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoons. The movies will be announced every week on the community Facebook page and posted around town, and will be shown free of charge. The concession stand will be open.

Claire Froelich, interpretation and conservation education specialist with the U.S. Forest Service, will host Forest Explorers at Volunteer Park Tuesday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Participants should register ahead of time on the Parks and Recreation website; the cost of the program is $50 for the summer.

Forest Explorers will include a wide range of outdoor activities including berry harvesting, natural clay processing, outdoor survival skills, leave-no-trace principles, local ecology, animal tracks and beach exploring. Froelich said a lot of the activities will focus on creating ornaments for the Tongass National Forest Christmas tree that will be displayed at the U.S. Capitol this year.

Froelich said she tries to focus on activities that are accessible for everyone, adding that Wrangell has very rich natural resources to utilize. She also has a background in nutrition and food systems and hopes to combine that knowledge with foraging to create some recipes with kids.

Reading with a Ranger Thursday mornings at the library will also be hosted by Froelich, where she will read, lead crafts and bring animal hides to display.

To finish off the week, Tawny Crowley will teach an art class Friday mornings from 10:30 a.m. until noon June 7-28, with another class July 5-26, at the community center multipurpose room. Registration for the class is available on the Parks and Recreation website, and costs $50 for the month.

The summer activities are open to kids of all ages, but children 6 years old or younger should be accompanied by a guardian who is at least 14 years old. Advance registration is only required for Forest Explorers and the art class.


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