Youth nuts about nature Bridgewater Bulletin. September 2012

Youth nuts about nature
Lunenburg County Young Naturalists Club nature art contest winners announced

In a time when youth are being pulled to spend more time than ever inside, the youth of Lunenburg County have shown us they still are spending time observing what is outside in their backyards and local natural areas.
The South Shore Young Naturalists Club (SS YNC) received more than 30 entries for its Nature Art Contest. Youth were asked to create an original piece of artwork of wildlife or nature they saw in their backyard or community, such as a woodpecker at a bird feeder or a stream habitat near their home. All media were allowed!
“The judges had a very difficult time picking the winners because there were so many strong entries,” said Robin Musselman, co-ordinator of the Young Naturalists Club. “The youth showed wonderful creativity and a great understanding of the natural world.” The Young Naturalists Club is working to get youth interested in and spending more time outside in nature through its ongoing programming providing free nature clubs to youth. Ms Musselman says, “There are many well-documented benefits to youth spending time in nature including its importance in promoting healthy childhood development. Besides the health benefits, having positive experiences in nature will help youth develop a bond with nature so that they value it and will be interested in protecting it.” The winners were announced at last week’s SS YNC monthly meeting. Ten youth won individual prizes for categories such as “best depiction of a landscape or habitat” and “most unique use of media.” Two classrooms were also awarded gifts for their entire class entering.
“We are very appreciative of the local community for supporting us in this event,” Ms Musselman says. “We are grateful to the P’lovers store in Mahone Bay for donating prizes, to our community judges Janice Rand (Lunenburg recreation department) and Leon de Vreede (Sustainable Bridgewater), and to the DesBrisay Museum for hosting the event.”
The artwork of the winning entries will be on display at the DesBrisay Museum until May 15. The winners include:
Age 5-7: Geneva McDormand
Age 8-10: Emma Moir
Age 11-12: Haley Selig
Best sculptural design: Abigail McDormand
Best landscape/habitat: Megan Smith
Best wildlife: Tess Suederick
Best representation of an ecosystem: Cirrus Bull
Most original design: Rubun Muise
Most unique use of media: Tegan McMahon
Best description accompanying Artwork: Zack Crouse
Most detailed drawing: Lily Hall
Classroom prizes went to:
Ms Colt’s Grade 2-3 class from Petite Riviere Elementary School
Ms Baker’s Grade 4 class from New Germany Elementary School

The Young Naturalists Club of Nova Scotia is a free nature club for youth that imparts natural history knowledge through interactions with adult naturalists and through experiences in nature. Club members learn about Nova Scotian wildlife species, and the importance of wildlife habitat conservation. A strong conservation ethic is developed in club members through positive experiences with naturalists and during wilderness experiences. The YNC started in 2006 and there are currently five YNC chapters across Nova Scotia. The South Shore Young Naturalists Club began in September 2011.