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He abruptly stopped and tromped into the underbrush to get a better look.
“Oh gosh, that’s awesome; that’s what kids should be doing,” said Wade. “That’s a really fine-looking fort.” In fact, page 50 of “Nature Seeker Workbook” addresses “The Importance of Forts.”
“The average kid that lives in downtown Hopkins probably won’t get out and do something like that, and it’s a shame, because that’s a great, long-term fort. Built to last,” Wade said.
His genuine fascination with the outdoors remains almost childlike after many years as an outdoor educator.
Ceaseless curiosity and alertness emanate from his blue eyes, allowing for a lot of discoveries like the fort. During the hike, he dropped a lecture mid-sentence to follow a muskrat swimming along the shore and returned to point out a hole in a tree that housed a raccoon, which led to another discussion on animal dwellings.
Wade said he’s far from finished as a naturalist. Next year he hopes the Hopkins School District will adopt a natural-science program he has developed, and described his book as “only one of many threads I’ve begun to pull on.”
Then he saw his first bumblebee of the year — “That’s a big one, probably a queen” — and off he went, down the trail.
Ben Johnson • 612-673-4499