Tin Mountain Conservation Center Receives Pequawket Foundation Fund Grant
Birding, gardening, weather and wildlife just a few of the programs planned for the Day Center.
[June, 4, 2020 – North Conway, NH] Tin Mountain Conservation Center announced that it has received a grant from the Pequawket Foundation Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation to offer nature programs at the Mt. Washington Valley Adult Day Center.
“This grant enables Tin Mountain to expand its experiential environmental programs to the participants and attendees at the Mt. Washington Valley Adult Day Center,” said Lori Kinsey, executive director of Tin Mountain Conservation Center. “The goal is to combine the strength and expertise of the staff at the Adult Day Center in working with adults with cognitive challenges, with the environmental experience and knowledge of the staff at Tin Mountain to co-create this multi-sensory environmental program,” she added.
Together, the staff of both organizations will fine tune programming to provide therapeutic benefits for the Day Center’s participants. Many of the adults participating in the Adult Day Center grew up in this region and have a strong connection to nature. Some were avid birders, gardeners, canoeists, and hikers and many maintain a strong connection with the environment. Some expresses their love of nature through art and writing. The goal is to use the environment and the Tin Mountain programs to strengthen the bond and memories participants have with the natural world. These programs will provide an opportunity for adults to connect with the environment, share stories about the birds and animals they see, hikes they have taken, the weather and what’s growing in their garden. The natural world offers a multi-sensory opportunity for memory challenged adults to see, smell, touch and experience the environment.
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide funding for this experiential programming to the Adult Day Center. This joining of resources combines two well respected organizations in the valley and enable mutually beneficial outcomes,” said Linda Gray, member of the Pequawket Foundation Fund and Senior Philanthropy Advisor for the NH Charitable Foundation
Topics and plans for the Tin Mountain programs for the Adult Day Center include a weather program, where participants can observe the changing weather patterns, see the lightening, feel the rain, hear the thunder and smell the earth after a spring rainstorm. A wildlife program will include animal mounts so participants can see the size of the animal, touch the fur or feathers and hear the sounds the animal makes. A birding program would include feathers, bird mounts, recordings and pictures to stimulate memories of early morning walks in the woods or filling bird feeders at home. The goal of all the programs is to fully engage the adults, using as many senses as possible to connect with both the environment, as well as the program leaders and other participants through stories, art, and memories.
In addition to providing sensory and memory stimulus, the environmental also offers peacefulness and provides a sense of calm. A babbling brook or the rustle of the wind through the leaves may be a calming influence for some.
“Nature is a wonderful medium to spark memories and excitement as well as help calm and relax people, depending upon what they need,” shared Anna Allocco, activities coordinator for the MWV Adult Day Center.
Tin Mountain has moved forward with opportunities to incorporate nature by installing 8 bluebird boxes, 2 kestrel boxes and 1 owl box around the property for staff, visitors and attendees to enjoy. The grant provides funding to add a variety of bird feeders and possibly bird baths so everyone can observe and enjoy the birds from both inside and outside the building.
For over 40 years, Tin Mountain has continued to provide experiential nature programs to residents and visitors throughout the greater Mt. Washington Valley and Western Maine. Tin Mountain offers environmental science classes and activities for students from pre-K through 12th grade through both in-school and after-school programs. Through its Nature Program Series and Eco-forums families and individuals have learned about everything from ancient trees, salamanders and frogs to money-saving energy efficient window inserts and incorporating squash into fall menus. Live animal programs enable families to get up close and personal with owls, bear and other woodland wildlife. Both virtual and live Environmental Trivia test environmental knowledge. Whether joining the fun from the safety of home during the ‘stay at home’ order or joining Tin Mountain at Tuckerman Brewery, trivia participants are sure to learn something new. Tin Mountain also offers naturalist led field trips along with a wide variety of summer camp programs to get folks outside, in nature, where they are able to learn more, experience first-hand, and deepen both their awareness and appreciation of nature.