Kids Go on an Aquatic Safari in Brewer 

Catherine Pegram

A visit to the Brewer Library by some local kids today turned into a bit of a safari trip.But they weren’t hunting for big game. They were searching for animals much smaller – and wetter. “I gotcha!”Ruth Perry is on a hunt for wet wildlife and some local kids are right behind her. “Holy cow, he’s really big!”Perry is an environmental educator from the Fields Pond Audubon Center in Holden. She’s at the Brewer Public Library to invite kids on an aquatic safari and answer a lot of questions about water-based critters.Perry says “We try to explain something about it – how it eats or how it breathes or in the case of younger children who haven’t heard about the frog lifecycle, that’s a tadpole – it’s a baby frog.” The kids also get to check out salamander larvae, diving beetles and everything in between. “You see the straw that’s coming out of his tail … He breathes air just like you do.”Perry’s visit is just an example of what folks at the Audubon Center do everyday to teach people about the environment.”We’re actually finding younger children, if they’re growing up in the city or urban area, that they don’t get out into nature and so they’re afraid of things.”The safari is designed to change that and Perry says it’s not just the children who learn something.”We often find that adults are just as interested as the children. And because it’s a children’s program, they don’t feel like they have to know anything. So it’s fun.”Especially for an experienced hunter, like Perry.”I get to be a kid again. This is all the kind of stuff I did when I was growing up. It’s just having a chance to be outdoors and sharing that with future generations.”