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Gray Squirrels

Maryland DNR

I recently visited a class at the Nature Preschool at Irvine and got to see the 3 to 5 year olds during some imaginative outdoor play. A few of the kids were digging small holes in the dirt, depositing acorns and then giggling.

“We’re playing squirrels,” one of them told me before scampering away through the autumn leaves. The other kids gave me all kinds of great details they’d learned about squirrels. For example, one little boy told me that a group of squirrels is in fact called a scurry! They were all so excited about them, it got me thinking about these busy, bushy-tailed rodents.

W. Brooks Paternotte took the helm of Irvine Nature Center as executive director in July 2013 and immediately began building on the strong 35-year foundation. Brooks is a Baltimore native who was a teacher, coach, advisor, dean and Head of the Middle School during his 13 years at Boys’ Latin School in Baltimore. He is also an instructor and ambassador of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Leave No Trace Master, as well as an avid outdoorsman and a features writer for FlyLife Magazine.