Outdoor Murfreesboro

When the weather is chilly or your family is simply restless, don’t bring out the movies and video games, take the family to the Wilderness Center at Barfield Park. Outdoor Murfreesboro, a division of Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation, runs a number of programs during the winter months. These environmental education programs are for families, homeschool students, scouts, as well as students and teachers.

Family Programming

Outdoor Murfreesboro offers an assortment of family programs. Some of the programs are for specific age groups and some are for the whole family.

Themed Backpacks: Special backpacks with the themes of birds, trees, insects, and wildflowers can be checked out. These include hands-on activities and learning materials.

Animal Encounters: Outdoor Murfreesboro is home to turtles, snakes, an owl, and salamander, and a frog. According to their website, “Animal Encounters is a FREE program that takes place each Saturday at 1:30 p.m. during the months of March through May and July through November.”

Wild Things: For children ages one to four, this is an ongoing program that provides an opportunity for pre-kindergarteners to learn about the natural world. Each class uses games, craft activities, songs, and even nature walks to get young children interacting with plants and animals. Reservations are required, and there is a charge of three dollars per child with an adult present.

Tales and Trails: On Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m., children between the ages of four and seven, with an adult present, “will discover fun and interesting tales about Tennessee’s native wildlife and their habitats,” as stated on the website. The cost is three dollars per child. Register your child by calling 615-217-3017 previous to the Tuesday before the event.

Homeschool Classes

Classes for homeschooled students are on the last Thursday of each month for eight to ten-year-olds, and the last Friday for eleven to thirteen-year-olds. These classes run from September until May with a cost of $75 per child at registration. Using hands-on activities and interpretative hikes, these classes can supplement science curriculum with state-approved curriculum.

Scout Troup Lessons

“Outdoor Murfreesboro at the Wilderness Station provides fun and educational programs for any level of scouting, from Daisies to Gold Level Award in Girl Scouts and Tiger Cub to Eagle Level in Boy Scouts,” it says on the website. The staff at the Wilderness Center will adjust any program to fit badge requirements. There is a minimum of ten children at three dollars per student. Each program with take between 45 minutes and an hour, and can be scheduled any Tuesday through Friday evening.

Adult Activities

Joining Greenway 100 is a great way to make sure you get your daily number of steps in every day. The goal is to get in one hundred miles between September 2018 and August 31, 2019. The cost to participate is $10.

These are only a few of the programs offered by Outdoor Murfreesboro. They also offer hikes, kayaking, and wilderness awareness workshops. More information is available on their website and Facebook page, or contact Rachel Singer at outdoormurfreesboro@murfreesborotn.gov. A new RecConnection Magazine for Winter 2019 will be available soon with listings and descriptions of all winter programs.

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