Earth Day Science Fiesta connecting community with nature

Community Reports

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – The Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District (VSWCD) will be hosting a four-day event centered on connecting the community back to nature. The Earth Day Science Fiesta will be held at the Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Center in Belen from April 30 – May 3.

Allison Martin, education manager with VSWCD, said the inspiration for the event came from wanting to encourage people to connect with nature. “Even during COVID, it such a large place that we can follow those safe protocols and bring people together to celebrate this wonderful planet in various ways,” Martin said.

The week kicks off with Friends of Smokey Bear: balloon and firetruck, a train demonstration, Central New Mexico Audubon Society with live raptors, a fact rocks activity and the City Nature Challenge Hikes. Live animals will be at the event and much more throughout the four days.

The City Nature Challenge is a worldwide challenge where participants are encouraged to find and document the native wildlife in their area. The City of Albuquerque will be participating alongside the conservation district.

Martin said she hopes people see this as a place to feel safe and to be able to appreciate the New Mexico landscape. “It’s just a great time to be with the folks that you love, feel safe, and reconnect with nature, to really learn what’s happening with my local community, and how to bring some of that knowledge back to my own house,” Martin said.

The conservation district is collaborating with various local organizations to assist in providing education to the public about local wildlife and agriculture. They are asking visitors bring a mask and remain socially distant. For a full list of activities on each of the days, visit their website at valenciaswcd.org.

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