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      Children learning about nature in the U.P.

      For 14 years children from the ages of nine through 14 have had an opportunity to learn about the outdoors in Alger County through the help of the local MSU Extension. This year the program focuses on teaching the kids about invasive species in the U.P.

      "A lot of this program has evolved from the kindness of the community supporting the program and things that they've been able to do to make it easy for us to provide outdoor education for kids," said Joan Vinette, Extension Educator at the Alger County MSU Extension.

      So far the group has spent time at the MSU Extension in Chatham and visited the Garden Peninsula last week. Thursday was the trip to Grand Island where the children learned about animals that can be found on Grand Island plus more about invasive species and it appears to be sticking.

      "All of those things just kill the things that we naturally have here so we can't use them," said participant Elizabeth Holloway.

      For the last few years, children in the group have been traveling to Grand Island, removing invasive plants, and replacing them native wildflowers. It is something that is both informative and fun for the kids to participate in. The best part is the program comes highly recommended from those that have already participated.

      "Oh yes, they would have a blast. They would have so much fun just going around and listening," said participant Betty Jo Swajanen.

      The program happens every year and is free of charge to the children of Alger County. It is certainly a great way to keep the minds of children fresh during the summer.