Bayou Nature Center connects children with nature

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The Bayou Nature Center connects children to nature. It is often the first place they can appreciate the Bay Area's pristine environment.

Children learn things like how to make a rope out of Spanish moss and pine needles at the 160-acre habitat and outdoor learning center in Ruskin. The goal of the center is to get students to embrace and have an appreciation for nature.

Dolly Cummings works for the center.

"If people don't develop a sense of passion interest or love or whatever you want to call it toward the environment they really do not care so much about taking care of it," she said.

The interactive approach is having positive results on the children from the Village Early Learning Daycare Center.

"I think it's really good so that you can learn about nature and all the animals," student Lily Eubanks said.

The nature preserve is an outdoor classroom for young inquisitive minds.

"I think it is pretty cool that we get to see everything that use to happen back then," said Griffin Hermida, a student at the daycare.

The kids are building a strong bond between man and nature.

Isabell Shaw, a counselor at the daycare says, "We have to respect nature and realize that she is what giving us everything we have right now."

Creating a habitat for generations to enjoy for years to come - the park is a private and public partnership with Hillsborough County. They have a free back-to-school bash this Saturday.

For more information, visit