This summer, the Buhler Active Living Centre, Service for Seniors (Winkler Senior Centre), and Spiritual Life Home Educators are excited to announce a series of Intergenerational Nature Discovery Excursions at the Discovery Nature Sanctuary. This hidden gem in Winkler offers a special opportunity to experience and learn about nature directly.

"I think there'll be some connection with the students and the older adults. I think they'll enjoy that. Seeing the birds, the plants, the light, whatever life is here. Some of the older adults were saying they had wanted to come here a few times last year, but it never worked out, so they were excited about being able to be here today," said Cathleen Bergen, Resource Coordinator at the Winker Senior Centre

Friday marked the first of three planned excursions, focusing on the fascinating world of birds. Participants, including older adults and younger students, learned to identify various bird species. Generations came together to share in the joy of birdwatching, encouraging connections and mutual learning. The second excursion will explore the plant life within the sanctuary, and the final excursion will focus on monarch butterflies.

"I'm looking forward to sharing some information about the birds. I also have a bunch of handouts here and pictures for people to look at, and bird books to look at. We'll just have a good time with everybody who has showed up," said presenter Al Schritt.

Each session begins with an informative presentation, followed by time for older adults and students to explore the sanctuary together. This intergenerational approach aims to enhance well-being and create lasting connections between generations.

"I wanted them [her kids] to have an experience interacting with the elderly. Get involved with the community a little bit... I think it's great to see the younger generation interacting with the older generation," said Sarah Reimer who brought her kids to the excursion.

By participating in these excursions, older adults have the chance to share their experiences and wisdom with younger generations while also learning from the fresh perspectives and curiosity of the youth.