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Community environmental education programs begin June 29

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Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Center for the Environment (CFE) at Westminster College will offer a series of outdoor educational events this summer for community members, children and families.

The CFE kicks off its summer educational programming with “Reduce Stress and Improve Focus with Nature Therapy” from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 29, at the College’s Field Station located at 937 Fayette-New Wilmington Road in New Wilmington.

Offered for both adults and kids, attendees will experience the mental and physical benefits of being in nature. Parents will learn about the psychology behind the practice of nature therapy, while kids are immersed in nature play.

Continuing through the summer, the CFE will offer an assortment of family-friendly, kid-friendly and adult-based community educational programs. Any fees collected are used to support additional environmental education programs.

Additional summer programs include:

Independence Day Celebration with the CfE: In this family-friendly event, learn more about nature’s own fireworks: fireflies. Participants can also try honey from the Westminster College Apiary. Afterwards venture over to Brittain Lake for Westminster’s July 3 celebration featuring the River City Brass Band and fireworks by Pyrotecnico. 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 3. Free event, but donations will be accepted.

Hacks for Creative Outdoor TikTok Videos: This free event will teach high schoolers how to apply simple hacks for shooting creative videos in nature and editing them on the phone for sharing on TikTok. Participants should download the Splice app. 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, July 8.

Macroinvertebrate & Electrofishing Demonstration: Meet at Brittain Lake dock on Westminster’s campus to learn more about the diversity of macroinvertebrates and fish present in the Little Neshannock Creek. Ecologists from Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. will demonstrate sampling techniques. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9. There is a fee for this event.

Nature at Night: Bring your flashlight along for this nighttime walk to learn how to use senses other than sight to tune into nocturnal wildlife. Join a naturalist and a former scoutmaster on a relaxed pace hike in the dark at the Field Station with stops along the way to observe flora and fauna. Recommended for ages 5 and up. 8:30 to 10 p.m., Wednesday, July 13. There is a fee for this event.

Westminster College Apiary Tour: Designed for ages 10 and up, this session is for those who want to learn about beekeeping. Participants will get hands-on in the apiary opening hives, identifying brood, honey and much more. Coats, hoods and gloves will be available. This event is not recommended for those with a bee allergy. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 16. There is a fee for this event.

The Joy of Birds—Beginning Birding & Bird Activities for Kids: Use the power of observation in this family-friendly session to listen and watch for birds with hands-on activities, story and learning time, a birding hike through the woods and time to create a bird project! Binoculars recommended. 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 20. There is a fee for this event.

STEM Field Research: Interested in exploring a career in STEM? Join current Westminster students who are doing STEM field research this summer to learn more about their projects and help collect some samples and data. This free event is open to current high school students. 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, July 22.

Sustainable Living Tips & Tiny House Tour: Stop by our table at the Farmers Market at Vine and Chestnut streets in New Wilmington from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23, to learn some sustainable living tips such as composting and how to reduce plastic waste. Head over to Westminster’s Tiny House on Prospect Street for a free tour from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Service for Nature: In need of service hours for your school or organization? Join us for some fun and hard work planting trees and flowers, painting picnic tables, building bird houses and more! This free event is open to high school students. 1 to 3 p.m. Monday, July 25

Upcycled Bird Houses: This is a hands-on experience creating bird houses from recycled pallet wood that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Tools and supplies are provided to every two-person team. Designed for ages 15 and up, there is a fee for this event. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, July 30.

Stargazing—The Summer Night Sky: Join us for this family-friendly session to see thousands of stars and explore the Milky Way from up close in this tour of the night sky. Binoculars and optical reflector telescopes will be used to observe the most prominent constellations visible in the summer. S’mores around the campfire to follow! 9 to 10:30 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 3. There is a fee for this event.

Science of Honeybees: High school students will get their hands dirty opening hives, identifying brood, honey and much more in this free program! Gear provided. Not recommended for those with bee allergies. 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12.

To view a complete list of programs and more details about each session or to register, click here.

Registration is required for events and most workshops are $10. Scholarships are available to those with financial hardships. Select sessions are wheelchair accessible. Please call for details and to inquire about participants with other challenges.

For questions about CFE summer programs, contact Katie Miller at or 724-946-7404 or visit