Exploring Nature All Summer Long

June 4, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 7:48 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

June 4, 2013 Updated Jun 4, 2013 at 7:48 AM EDT

Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WKBW) - By the looks of the trees, you may think you are in the thick of the woods.

'We're right in the heart of suburbia. We're only nine minutes from downtown Buffalo," Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve Director Meaghan Bolce-Green said.

It's called the Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve located in Cheektowaga. Amy Sharkey is on a field trip with her daughter Jillian, 8, who attends John A. Sciole Elementary School.

"It's very important for them to get hands on experience. It's just something you can't learn in a book," Sharkey said.

The pair went on a field trip with school but there is more to come at the nature preserve this summer.

"We have 'Kids in the Woods' day camp. It's a week long day came and we have different weeks for different age group," Green said.

They learn about everything from the signs of wild life to different kinds of plant life, including Poison Ivy. Their first lesson is steer clear of that plant. During camp, the kids will catch and study different pond creatures.

"It a great chance for them to really get their hands dirty and learn about the ecosystem. We also do a lot of traditional camp things like games and crafts," Green said.

It is not only a learning experience for the students. Parents get also get a quick lesson and some laughs.

"I just learned something. I've seen those little spit balls all over. I never knew there was a bug in there. Are you going to put that on?" Sharkey said.

After camp hours are over, families can explore even more. The trails are open from dawn to dusks 7 days a week all year round.

The nature preserve will also hold a fundraiser on June 15th. It will raise money to allow summer programs to continue. Click here for more http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/1837.html.