Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Rainy Afternoon at Piers Park

Happy Wednesday everyone, it's Emily B. reporting back on a beautiful mid-week afternoon. Following yesterday's  drizzly morning and general sogginess, today dawned bright and clear: perfect weather for Ga-ga Ball and crabbing at Blacks Creek followed by Family Fun Night event set-up at Carson! I've come to love the daily rhythms and routines at both of these sites, but it's also fun to have a chance to visit other programming locations, which is what I got to do on Tuesday when I drove over to Eastie for a few hours at Piers Park. There, I met some amazing young Harbor Explorers and worked alongside three very knowledgeable JPA's (shout-out to Amanda, Ari and Cristian) as well as the ever-smiling Raymond (LHE extraordinaire). I felt right at home when I walked into the playground area and found Sean with a group of campers sitting in a dry spot to read aloud the newly released Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They provided a quick summary for me, then I jumped in to voice Hermione and Harry in Act One, Scene Twelve. We recited just a couple of pages of dialogue before the whole group reconvened in the tent to do some imaginative artwork. Zach, the program leader at Piers Park, brought out paper and crayons and suggested to the kids that they each draw their very own made up sea creature, using information about marine habitats and adaptations that they'd learned that morning. Everyone was hard at work for quite a while, then some of the kids volunteered to explain their creatures! There was the Winged Shark (which can walk on land, swim in water, and fly through the air, making it extremely deadly to humans), several color-changing squid hybrids, and a dangerous deep-sea jellyfish. Some of these sea creatures even had magical powers or body parts!

The Harbor Explorers proudly display their sea creatures.

By the time we'd finished up with presentations, the rain had stopped falling enough to brave the puddles on the dock. We headed down for an hour of fishing, kayaking, and crabbing, and Zach even took several kids out on a sailboat! Using pried-open mussels as bait, we caught a whole slew of green crabs, as well as a red rock crab. I took the opportunity to talk with the assembled Harbor Explorers about invasive versus native species, and then we had a lot of fun releasing all the crabs back into the water.

Gazing into the depths from atop a kayak.

We certainly made the best of a damp day, and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to visit Piers Park!

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