Conservation Connection – Getting dirty not always a bad thing

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Many of us may not think of getting dirty as a good thing, but the Missouri Department of Conservation is hoping you might look at dirt a little differently thanks to some programs coming up at Powder Valley Nature Center. Assistant Nature Center Manager Robyn Parker visits KPLR 11 News at Noon to discuss these ‘Down and Dirty’ programs.

Q. What are the Down and Dirty programs?
• Free event geared to kids ages 3-5
• Designed to bring back the fun days of sand boxes and mud pies
• Visitors will discover how getting dirty and exploring is a fun way to discover nature

Q. How does it work?
• Kids and adults will be divided into 2 separate groups
• Powder Valley will provide the dirt as naturalists take the kids to the center`s nature play area, where they can use their imaginations to get down and dirty
• Meanwhile adults get the chance to learn about the importance of unstructured play and nature exploration in a separate area

Q. What are some of the benefits of playing in the dirt?
• Important for the healthy development of young children
• Studies show that interacting with dirt and the various organisms that live in it helps to develop healthy immune systems
• Unstructured play in nature encourages creativity, independence, and problem solving

Q. When will these Down and Dirty programs be held?
• Wednesday, July 19
• Friday, Aug. 11
• Thursday, Sept. 21
• Each will be held from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
• Advanced registration required by calling Powder Valley

Q. What other things should participants keep in mind?
• Be sure to bring old clothes; kids will be getting muddy
• Consider a change of clothes for the ride home, or something to cover the car seats
• Bring some towels

Q. How can viewers sign up?
• Call 314-301-1500

Q. Where is Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center located?
• 11715 Cragwold Road, near the intersection of I-270 and I-44