LACONIA — After 10 months of binging Netflix and baking banana bread, Lakes Region residents and visitors are ready to connect with their community and the natural world. Prescott Farm is here to help.

Starting January 2nd, two Community Connections programs will be offered each Saturday at the White Oaks Road property in Laconia. These COVID-safe programs are led by environmental educators who meet guests ‘where they are’ on their nature-connection journey and guide them to a deeper understanding and appreciation. Programs will take place outside with appropriate social distancing, masks, and other safety protocols in place.

The environmental education team at Prescott Farm has combined their extensive skills and experience to create a full year of programs that include many returning favorites along with some brand-new offerings. Ashleigh Roberts, the newest member of the staff, has been instrumental in generating exciting new ideas.

Originally from Ohio, Roberts joined Prescott Farm in November. She has worked as an outdoor/environmental educator all over the United States and has experience teaching across age groups and experience levels.

“Ashleigh is an incredible asset to Prescott Farm,” Andie Hession, school and community programs director, said. “Not only has she been able to help us maintain our current program offerings, she has fresh, innovative ideas that will provide even more opportunities for people to connect to the natural world.”

It was Roberts’ love of hiking—with lots of stops to enjoy the tiny things– that inspired Prescott Farm’s new-in-2021 ‘Tiny Things Hikes,’ kicking off on January 9 at 1 p.m.

Other programs up first in 2021 include:

Saturday, Jan. 2: New Year, New Beginnings Nature Hike (1-3 p.m.) and Meteor Shower Campfire (4:30-6:30 p.m.)

Saturday, Jan. 9: Beginner Snowshoe (10-12 p.m.) and Tiny Things Hike (1-3 p.m.)

Saturday, Jan. 16: Snowshoe Adventure (10-12 p.m. and The Mystery of the Subnivean Zone (1-3 p.m.)

A full calendar of programs, descriptions, age level recommendations, fees, and registration information is available at prescottfarm.org.

In addition to educator-led programs, visitors can enjoy the trails, sledding hill, and natural playscape on the 160-acre property as a free community resource from dawn-to-dusk every day. Visitors who wish to rent snowshoes ($5) may do so while the program building is open (Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.). For program details, a list of health and safety requirements, and to register, please visit prescottfarm.org.

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