Family fun with fort building

-A A +A

Outdoors > Nature Play Time nurtures children’s health and well-being

By Gina Velasquez

Looking for a fun-filled afternoon for the entire family? Seek no more. On the first Friday of every month, the Pajarito Environmental Educational Center hosts Friday Forts. It is an opportunity for kids and their parents to play, build and enjoy the outdoors.
Executive Director Katie Watson started the program over a year ago and it has gotten a positive response from parents and children in the Los Alamos area. “It is a great bonding moment for them,” she said.
Earlier this year, first, second and third grade students from different schools in the area had come for field trips. “I think the most kids we have had here at one time was 18,” Watson said.
The public is welcome to attend anytime, but it is strongly recommended that parents stay present with their children while they play, due to the outdoor, open area of the dirt pile and the surrounding ravine.
Steve Niezgoda and his son Emory, 4, took advantage of the spring day on last week. The two spent some time build a fort out of tree trunks and sticks strewed throughout the dirt pile.
Jazz Salwen-Grabowski and her son Peter, 3, also played in the dirt pile, along with Watson’s sons, 11-year-old Peter, 11 and Andrew, 9. “We’re making dinner,” they said, as they stood around a pot with water and sticks placed on top of a tree truck.
“The kids like to build little imaginary communities and barter with one another for goods and services,” Watson said.
The youngest of the kids that day was Lillian Ross, a toddler who was playing with the water spout with her mother, Jessie.
“We come here all the time and I wish it could be going on every Friday,” Ross said, who also brings her two other children on a regular basis.