Minneapolis parks have been open for the duration of the COVID-19 shutdown, but recreation centers were closed and in-person park programs were halted.
With the loosening of restrictions and life returning to a socially distant normal, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has created Nearby Nature, a series of free activities that will rotate through local and regional parks.
Each Tuesday throughout the summer, a new set of activities will be posted on the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Facebook page (facebook.com/neighborhoodnaturalist/).
Outdoor adventures include Nature Quests, where you can embark on a scavenger hunt, and Story Strolls, which use a storybook to guide you through a park, page by page.
“Normally, programs are led by a person, but now we are providing prompts to guide you through a book, taken apart, so you can walk and read,” said MaryLynn Pulscher, manager for environmental education.
Story strolls will be in English, Spanish and Somali.
The intergenerational activities also include orienteering, forest bathing and nature-based yoga poses, as well as building a toad abode.
Pulscher said the Park Board is analyzing its programs to see which ones can be altered to allow for social distancing. While it’s clear that there will be many changes, Pulscher said inventive, interactive parks programming isn’t going away.
“We have quite a list going and we have a good creative staff,” she said. “It’s just going to be another great layer.”