Nacogdoches Naturally will sponsor a family fun day at Stephen F. Austin State University's Pineywoods Native Plant Center on Saturday, Dec. 10. Located at 2900 Raguet, the event will run from 9 a.m. until noon. "Meet the Creepy Crawlers" will be an opportunity to learn about the benefits and challenges of forest animals that slither, creep, and crawl. Families will meet live animals, create "creepy crawler" crafts, and go on a guided safari hike.

"Families will be able to have a close-up exploration of worms, bees, snakes and insects" says Kerry Lemon, project director of Nacogdoches Naturally. "These are some of the most often misunderstood creatures that are encountered in the woods of East Texas. It is our hope that by introducing them in a fun, safe, and non-threatening way a greater appreciation for these animals will be cultivated. There are so many fascinating facts to be learned about the natural world."

In his book, "Last Child in the Woods," Richard Louv states that "Fear is the most potent force that prevents parents from allowing their children the freedom they themselves enjoyed when they were young." Some parents and children may be fearful of the unknown aspects of the out-of-doors, while others may have concerns based on certain misconceptions and lack of experience. Education and increased familiarity through these types of family events can raise the comfort level of outdoor experiences for families. As Louv says, "It's a good thing to learn more about nature in order to share this knowledge with children; it's even better if the adult and child learn about nature together. And it's a lot more fun."

Nacogdoches Naturally Family Outdoor Adventures is a project sponsored by SFA Gardens and funded through a matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Activities are designed to cultivate outdoor skills and an awareness of outdoor education with the goal of families developing a lifetime enjoyment in the natural world. Programs are family friendly and appropriate for all ages.

Cost for the event is $5 per family.

For information, call (936) 468-5586 or