Take the Family to the Bethany Beach Nature Center

If you’re looking for a single place that will please any age, head for the Bethany Beach Nature Center on Garfield Parkway west of Route 1. Activities for kids? Yes! Free parking and admission? Absolutely. Accessible for wheelchairs and strollers? Yup.

The Nature Center is in a charming circa-1903 cottage. During summer, it’s open Tuesday to Friday, 10 to 3; Saturday, 10-12 (closed Sunday and Monday). The entrance has steps, but there’s a ramp in back. Inside, you’ll find a nature adventure table, displays (live turtles!), and a scavenger hunt for when you walk the Baldwin Trail. Every Saturday is a Kidz Nature Adventure, and the folks here cook up fun other days of the week, too, so call or check the website for special events.

The grounds are open dawn to dusk every day, so even if the building is closed, check out the Baldwin Trail. It’s a super easy, 1/8-mile trail through wetlands and maritime forest (part of a 26-acre land trust) that is home to over 100 species of wild birds, diamondback terrapins, minnows, reptiles, and amphibians. Watch for great blue herons, egrets, and osprey from the boardwalk pier at the tidal pool. You can even bring a well-behaved, leashed dog.

Near the start of the trail is a native plant demonstration garden with a raised-bed pollinator garden. Did you know that native plants are easier to care for? Plus, they help support birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. See what the plants look like and get ideas for your own yard. You can even learn about rain gardens and rain barrels.

So, gather up the group and head for the Bethany Beach Nature Center for some fresh-air fun.  

Nancy Sakaduski is a local  award-winning writer and editor who finds inspiration in the natural world. 

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