Photos of kids on snowshoes by Emily Lord at our Kids Snowshoe Shuffle.

On Saturday, February 24, Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG) and Branch Hill Farm/Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust will offer a kids’ snowshoe tracking activity as part of MMRG’s  new program of nature-oriented events for families called ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’. ‘Little Trackers’ will take place at Branch Hill Farm in Milton Mills with leaders Emily Lord of UNH Cooperative Extension and Middleton Pastor Tom Gardner and help from MMRG staff and volunteers.

Emily Lord is Stewardship Outreach Coordinator for UNH Cooperative Extension and a member of MMRG’s Board of Directors. Her passion for wildlife tracking began as a winter camp counselor for Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center in Laconia.

In addition to serving as Pastor at Middleton Gospel Chapel, Tom Gardner teaches the Middleton Nature Club after-school program. He captivated children and adults alike at MMRG’s Family Bonfire Storytime event last October with his stories of real-life strange and creepy organisms. Both Lord and Gardner trained as NH Coverts Project volunteers and serve on MMRG’s Education Outreach Committee, which designed MMRG’s new MOOSE-ies for Families program.

MOOSE-ies for Families creates opportunities for families to have fun together outdoors while learning about nature, in order to foster future generations of conservationists. Anticipating the upcoming event, Pastor Tom said, “Little Trackers is a chance to introduce kids to the animals that share our community and show them how to read the signs and stories that wildlife leave behind, like footprints, food, and much more.” Emily Lord added, “The first MOOSE-ies for Families event was so much fun, we’re really looking forward to this next one!”

The event is planned for 10 – 11:30 am on February 24. Although it is designed as a snowshoe activity while looking for tracks in the snow, it will take place even if snow is scarce. The rain date is Sunday, February 25, 1 – 2:30 pm.  Children of all ages are welcome with their families and loaner snowshoes for both kids and adults will be available. The outing is free for MMRG member families (see below) but pre-registration is required. For more information, directions, and to pre-register, call MMRG’s Education Coordinator Kari Lygren at (603) 978-7125 or email info@mmrg.info.

‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ stands for Members Only Outdoor and Social Events for Families and the program of six ‘MOOSE-ies for Families’ activities per year is free for MMRG members. For interested families who are not current MMRG members, the requirement is fulfilled with a minimum of $25 per household per year membership donation. Other 2018 upcoming events are: ‘Ponding with Sally Cornwell’ on May 19, ‘Rail Trail Scavenger Hunt’ on June 23,   the 16th annual Woods, Water & Wildlife Festival on August 11, and ‘Family Moonlight Walk’ on September 22. If the membership fee is a financial burden, families may inquire of Executive Director Patti Connaughton-Burns about available scholarships by calling (603) 473-2020.

MMRG, a non-profit land trust, works to conserve and connect important water resources, farm and forest lands, wildlife habitats, and recreational land in Brookfield, Farmington, Middleton, Milton, New Durham, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. Throughout the year, MMRG offers many educational opportunities to inform all ages about the benefits of our region’s natural resources.  Branch Hill Farm/the Carl Siemon Family Charitable Trust works to protect open space and working forests and to educate the public about sound forestry, conservation and agricultural practices; see www.branchillfarm.org.