Nature Play Fest returns to Henderson Lake Park

Published on: June 9th, 2023

The Helen Schuler Nature Centre will host Nature Play Fest on Saturday June 10 from 12:00 noon until 4:00 p.m. at Henderson Lake Park in Lethbridge. Everyone is encouraged to take part in the outdoor festival that will feature 20+ play-based activities hosted by several local community organizations.

“One big change people might notice this year is that we changed the name of the event from Nature Play Day to Nature Play Fest,” says Taylor Hecker, Program Leader with the Helen Schuler Nature Centre, “The event still offers many great opportunities to try something new, and most importantly to have fun outside as a family!”

Nature Play Fest will provide families with the opportunity to try diverse outdoor activities from kayaking to loose parts play! Activities are free for everyone to enjoy throughout the afternoon.  Attendees will have the chance to try many different outdoor activities – including:

  • Try Canoeing – High Level Canoes and Kayaks

  • Watershed Games – Oldman Watershed Council

  • Scavenger Hunts – Mommy Connections Lethbridge

  • Solar Observation – Lethbridge Astronomy Society

  • Loose Parts Playground – Lethbridge College ECE Program

  • Mud Kitchen! – Family Centre

  • Obstacle Course – Building Brains Together

  • Painting Activity – Yellow Fish Road

  • Outdoor Sports Games – University of Lethbridge Horns Recreation

  • Yard Games – YMCA of Lethbridge

  • Physical Literacy Games – Lethbridge Public Library

  • Try eBikes! – Bike Lane

  • Bookmobile – Lethbridge Public Library

  • Event Cruiser – B93 & Wild 95

In addition, the event will also feature a Benefits of Nature Walk and Get Outside 101 signage between activity stations. This will showcase the many reasons spending time outside is beneficial for people at every age!

Promoting the importance of children and youth spending time outside and engaging in outdoor nature-based play has never been more important.

According to the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth 2022, only 28 per cent of kids in Canada (5 to 17) are meeting national physical activity guidelines. While Canadian children and youth are increasingly sedentary, they are also spending less time outside. This is unfortunate, because there is strong evidence to suggest that when children are outside they are more active – moving more, sitting less, and playing longer! (https://www.participaction.com/the-science/children-and-youth-report-card/)

ParticipACTION indicates that family is a key source of influence on kids’ healthy movement. Parents and guardians are encouraged to facilitate physical activity by encouraging, watching, role modelling, co-participating, and attending events like Nature Play Fest. They are also encouraged to be active together as a family and make it a priority every day.

The community is encouraged to share their photos of what they are doing outside using the social media hashtags #NaturePlayFest #yql

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The City of Lethbridge acknowledges that we are gathered on the lands of the Blackfoot people of the Canadian Plains and pays respect to the Blackfoot people past, present and future while recognizing and respecting their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship to the land. The City of Lethbridge is also home to the Metis Nation of Alberta, Region III.