HINGHAM — Four toddlers sat with wide, excited eyes as they listened to Lizzie Granowski read them a story about the forest and the different creatures that lived in it. At the end, Granowski asked them what animals they remember living in the forest.
“I remember the dragonfly,” said 3-year-old Seamus Judge. Bailey O’Brien, Mary Maclean and William Sexton all joined in, each adding a different animal they had seen.
“Very good,” Granowski said with a bright smile, before leading the kids off to a huge oak tree.
The toddlers were gathered at The World’s End Reservation in Hingham for a "coastal explorers" class organized by the Trustees, which owns and manages the property. Children who attend are read a story and do an activity over the course of an hour, learning something new about nature each time.
“I’m so grateful we live close by. The fact that they offer this program to kids her age is so nice,” said Abby Maclean, the mother of 3-year-old Mary, the only girl who participated that day.
For Granowski, the program is about more than getting children out in nature and interacting with one another. She said that, to her, it's helping show kids to love and care for nature.
“It’s easier to raise kids from the get-go respecting nature than to break bad habits later on,” she said.
Granowski showed the kids how to take tree rubbings, imprints of bark made with crayons and pieces of paper used to identify different types of trees. She led the group from tree to tree, showing how to identify their leaves.
Granowski said her dream is to inspire one of the toddlers to one day teach others about the environment themselves.
“I hope that in 100 years, someone will be standing here, with a coast that hasn’t changed much, teaching others, all because of an influential educator,” Granowski said.