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MARINE PARK, Brooklyn (PIX11) — New York City public schools are off this week for midwinter recess, so the Parks Department is encouraging families to get outdoors with their urban park rangers, who are supporting family-friendly nature activities.

Ian Evans, and other urban park rangers, are showing that not everything can be learned in a classroom.

“Sometimes, the best thing is just getting out there and doing it yourself with your own hands, getting a little dirty,” Evans said. 

They’re teaching these children how to build shelters in the Salt Marsh Nature Center in Marine Park, Brooklyn. By using fallen material like leaves and sticks, they’re creating simple lean-to structures.

Parents are using this time as the perfect opportunity to get out. The Rennie family has been camping multiple times before.

“We had to pitch our own tents and cook over fires and our children love it,” Candace Thomas-Rennie said. “It was a blessing during the pandemic, so when I saw this program — because I don’t want them in the house all day playing games — I figured it’ll help us reimagine our experiences camping.”

The Parks Department is hosting many different events just like this throughout the week for kids who are off from school. Click here for more information