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Outdoors is for Everyone event at state park to feature activities for those with disabilities

A free event at Moraine Hills State Park will allow people with disabilities a chance to get close to nature.

Mary Colwell, seasonal naturalist with Volo Bog State Natural Area and Moraine Hills State Park, will be holding Outdoors is for Everyone at 10 a.m. June 22 at the state park, 1510 S. River Road, McHenry.

The goal is to invite those with disabilities to get involved in nature play, as it can be hard for some people to get outside, Colwell said.

Colwell created the event after a family vacation to Glacier National Park in Montana, where she saw a young girl in a wheel chair sitting by a stream and unable to get in due to a lack of appropriate equipment. The girl leaned down to touch the water while her family was swimming in the stream, returning with buckets of water to pour in her hands, Colwell said.

The event is open to people with physical disabilities and those with cognitive disabilities as well, Colwell said.

People of all ages and with differing abilities, along with their families, can participate in different nature-themed activities. Some stations include making animal tracks, creating plant/animal rubbings, guessing what’s inside the Mystery Containers, and planting a seed for their favorite pollinator, according to a news release from Colwell.

Many of the activity ideas were taken from a similar event done by Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center in Cook County, Colwell said.

This will be the first time this event is held, and there are already plans to hold it again in September. This event is sponsored by The Friends of Moraine Hills State Park.

To register, either call the Volo Bog State Natural Area office at 815-344-1294, or email dnr.volobog@illinois.gov.

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