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Martin Park Nature Center hosts Spider Hunt



Kids can discover creepy-crawlies and make eight-legged friends Saturday at Spider Hunt, hosted by Martin Park Nature Center, 5000 W. Memorial.

The 10 a.m. hunt is divided into two parts. First, spider enthusiast and naturalist Bill Bennett will teach kids about the biology and habits of the arachnids, focusing on interesting and often overlooked facts. Who knew that spiders collect oxygen through their bellies and not their mouths?

Interim park manager Casey Wieczorek said Bennett has a unique interest in spiders and requested to have the event at Martin Park.

"It was his ambition, and my general interest in spiders as well, that got this going," she said.

The second part of Spider Hunt features a nature hike, during which Bennett will lead a trek to observe spiders and their webs. Although the spiders have to remain in their natural habitats at the center, Wieczorek said she encourages kids to observe the creatures closely to study their actions.

Shy children won't be forced to interact with any spiders on the hunt. Wieczorek said she and Bennett have a hands-off approach to screaming kids or adults, and simply instruct the frightened to observe others with the spiders.

"You always need to give someone space," she said.

The hunt is $2 per person, and preregistration is required. For more information, call 755-0676.

"Paige Lawler

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