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Great outdoors comes indoors at new exhibit Debbie Nofzinger puts a yellow-bellied slider in the water at a new exhibit at the W.W. Knight Nature Center. The exhibit runs through March 11.
Debbie Nofzinger puts a yellow-bellied slider in the water at a new exhibit at the W.W. Knight Nature Center. The exhibit runs through March 11.
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Published: Wednesday, 2/8/2012

Great outdoors comes indoors at new exhibit

W.W. Knight preserve sets up camp for kids

BY GABRIELLE RUSSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A babbling stream with real goldfish in it, swimming upstream to escape from a large-mouth bass.

A towering 7-foot-tall tree.

A campground site.

What makes these nature scenes so unusual is they are part of an indoor exhibit at the W.W. Knight Nature Preserve.

"It's really freaking cool," said Debbie Nofzinger, the district's program coordinator. "Everybody goes, 'Wow.'"

The Wood County Park District exhibit called "The Outside Is In" runs through March 11 and is free to the public, including those who do not live in Wood County.

A red-eared slider is among the wildlife on display at the exhibit, which features a babbling stream. A red-eared slider is among the wildlife on display at the exhibit, which features a babbling stream.
THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT Enlarge | Buy This Photo

Attendance is ranging between 25 to 80 people a day for the special exhibit, which cost the park district about $2,000 to help create.

Throughout the nature center, children can do activities such as making origami boats, constructing binoculars, and learning about fossils and animal prints.

The exhibit hours are noon to 6 p.m., Friday through Monday, and 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday at the nature center, located at 29530 White Rd., in Perrysburg.

"The Outdoors Is In," which is geared toward elementary-aged children, is part of the No Kids Left Indoors initiative to get children outside into nature.

"Instead of sitting around and being plugged into Nintendo and iPods and watching TV all the time, there's a lot of things to discover outside. Kids don't play outside as much anymore," Ms. Nofzinger said. "Kids tend to know more about the world in general, but they really don't know what's in their own backyard anymore."

The Wood County Park District, which does a special exhibit like this every other year, collaborated with other organizations, including the Sandusky park district, the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, and the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge for the exhibit.


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