July 16, 2015

Diving into the Science Center for the First Time

By Sabrina Stewart, Program Intern

When I first heard the words “Natural Science Center,” I pictured a simplistic trail with a few small animal enclosures, but mostly hands-on activities based around different elements such as water, earth, and air. However, once I set foot on the trail, I realized I had completely underestimated the range of information about nature that the Science Center captures and shares.

Coming from Nebraska, I had no idea that scenery as beautiful as New Hampshire even existed. I’m used to seeing flat, yellowed plains for miles and miles. But the wildlife, exhibited along the trail at the Science Center, is simply beautiful. Not only did I get to walk under the beautiful canopy of pines through the ¾-mile live animal exhibit trail, but I also ventured up to the Ecotone Trail, which connects to the Mt. Fayal Trail. These paths pass through serene meadows dancing with damsel flies, over a pond crawling with salamanders, and through underbrush flowering with berries.

In addition to underestimating the scenery, I also didn’t realize just how many animals there are at the Science Center. The coyote greeted me with a howl, as a barred owl called in the distance, “Who-Cooks-For-You? Who-Cooks-For-You-All?” I never truly understood how large a mountain lion is when seen up close, or how quick an otter can dive under the water for a live fish to eat. Many different zoos and centers I’ve visited stop there. But Squam Lakes Natural Science Center exceeds all expectations by providing daily Up Close to Animals encounters, lake cruises, and nature programs for families, children, and adults. I really am amazed at what the staff at the Science Center does to make every guest’s experience an incredible journey into nature.

Now here I am, 10 weeks into the job. I still am learning something new every day. It may be seeing firsthand how a broad-winged hawk catches its prey during an Up Close to Animals encounter, or learning how a white-tailed deer ages through the interactive wheel at their exhibit, but I always am in awe at what the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center brings to life.

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