SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – People have been stuck inside for most of the coronavirus pandemic, but what if there was a way for them to enjoy the outdoors in Siouxland?
The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center is currently participating in the “1000 Hours Outside” challenge, a global movement for anyone of any age and environment.
“We just thought it would be great to look at outdoor education and time outside. Whether you’re doing something, [such as] hiking, fishing, bird watching, taking a walk outdoors, it doesn’t have to be going to a park. We thought it would be a great way to amplify that message,” said Dawn Snyder, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.
Dawn Snyder, educations program director at the nature center, said the year-long challenge is where people can try to duplicate or match the amount of time they have in front of electronic screens.
People have increased the amount of time they have in front of their computers, cell phones, tablets, and television screens because of the pandemic.
“We want people to get outdoors. We’ve always been about promoting people to spend time outside and make those connections with the natural world, even right in their backyard. This may be an incentive for people to track those hours and that time,” said Theresa Kruid, Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.
Theresa Kruid, a naturalist at Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, said being outside is one thing people can do safely while social distancing. The nature center saw an increase in those using the hiking trails last year and through this winter.
The outdoor challenge can mean anything for anyone who takes part in it, not just getting a certain amount of time outside.
“It’s hard to put an exact idea on what you’re going to get on it; everyone is going to take things differently. For me, it’s a time for inner renewal and reflection. Being outdoors gives me strength and refreshes me,” said Snyder.
Some of the best benefits of being outside for people are the memories they make with those around them in activities and helping with their mental health.
Kruid mentions people can take a reflection of what’s surrounding them in the outdoors because there’s a lot of areas to go and visit in the city and county.
“I think it’s just another way for people to realize what is beyond their home, their school, their office and enjoy the community that’s around them,” said Kruid.
The Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center has two levels in the outdoor challenge, the starter level of 100 hours and the 1,000 hours.
For more information on how to participate in this outdoor challenge, click here or go to the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center at 4500 Sioux River Road.