Enjoying Nature Inside

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MONTOURSVILLE, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Residents, family, and staff had a busy day learning about the outdoors while indoors Friday at the Valley View Rehab and Nursing Center.

Valley View Rehab and Nursing Center held its first Nature Day where residents, family, and staff came together to learn about the outdoors. Licensed raptor educator Michael Kurgia spoke along with his little friend.

“I named her Rachel after Rachel Carson, who wrote Silent Spring,” Kurgia said.

He says Friday was a special day to talk about one of the fastest animals on the planet.

“I was invited here to Valley View to talk about the peregrine falcon, the fastest land animal on earth. It can dive at 240 miles per hour,” Kurgia said.

Kurgia spoke to the crowd and answered questions about how vital this bird is to our ecosystem. Then residents moved down the hall to hear Ruthie Martinez speak about her nature collection. It includes fossils, rocks, plants, furs, bones, and even shells. Martinez says the residents are really into the science of nature, sparking interest for the event.

“The genesis for this really came from our interaction with the residents and understanding how much they love nature. And for so many of them, they’ve had an active outdoor life and then they got to be a certain age where they are no longer mobile and can’t get out to the woods and they can’t get to the seashore,” Martinez said.

With the turnout and excitement, Martinez says it’s about the personal connection that means the most.

“I wish we could do it for a whole week because all of these things that you see on these tables, there is a story behind them. When you share that story, then it becomes personal,” Martinez said.

After the event, Valley View’s administrator shared with Eyewitness News the positive response she received about the first-ever Nature Day.

“I have had several residents say how awesome it was. Actually, I’ve had several staff and family members too, saying how interesting it was,” administrator Michele Brague said. “Even though it’s cold outside, we can still look at so much nature inside.”

Valley View plans to hold more Nature Day events for residents in the coming years.

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