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New Charlotte rec center allows visitors get closer to nature

Exhibit invites people to look, feel, smell and hear like an animal would.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The "Nature Space" at Eastway Regional Recreation Center in Charlotte has a temporary exhibit that shows how to explore the world of animal senses.

“Animal senses are nature’s superpowers, and with our current rotating exhibit, you can experience animals through touch, sight, smell, and sound,” Daniel Leatherman, recreation manager at Eastway Regional Recreation Center, said.

At this exhibit, participants are invited to look, feel, smell and hear like an animal would. The purpose of this exercise is to get people comfortable with the creatures in nature they may run into every day.

“Our theme at the Eastway Regional Nature Space is: Nature is not scary,” Leatherman said. 

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This is a family-friendly sensory safari. Those under 18 must participate with a parent. The recreation center has staff on hand to direct visitors’ experiences.

 “We make it fun and easy to learn in a safe, indoor space,” Leatherman said.

This recreation center was built in northeast Charlotte so that its diverse habitat could be showcased. Connecting the outdoors with the indoors is how they hope to educate the youth and make sure they are more aware of what wonderful things the outdoors has to offer.

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 “When you’re ready … you can explore the more than 100 acres of parkland surrounding the indoor facility,” Leatherman noted.

Eastway Regional Recreation Center has several trail opportunities and site amenities worth exploring including water features, plant varieties, animals and open-play meadows.

Contact Larry Sprinkle at lsprinkle@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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