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Henry County Conservation again hosts Escape the Nature Room

MT. PLEASANT — Henry County Conservation is bringing back Escape the Nature Center Room, Nov. 1 through Nov. 5.

After pioneering their first escape room event last year, the department decided to make it an annual activity.

“We got a lot of really good feedback. The groups that participated really enjoyed their time and indicated they would want to do it again,” said Danika Cox, Henry County naturalist and event organizer.

Cox added the event is a great fundraising opportunity for the Nature Center. Proceeds from the event go directly to the conservation’s live animal fund, which provides for feed and care costs for animals the department oversees, including raptors, foxes and other animals kept at the center.

This year’s escape room falls under Conservation’s theme for the year, Out of This World. Teams of up to eight people will be locked in the center to solve clues that will lead to the way out. The department has an age suggestion of 14 years old or older for participants.

“We set that age limit to make sure everyone is successful. It’s not too difficult, but if there are kids on the young side, they need at least one adult with them,” Cox said.

To ensure the event is safe in light of the pandemic, the naturalist said she had to “go back and rethink” how to organize the event. Cox added the escape room was almost canceled but the department instead chose to add extra nights to ensure the event could go on. The department changed time slots to include an hour between appointments to allow adequate sanitation of the room.

“We really took that into consideration when working on this room. We’re taking every precaution that we can to the best of our abilities because we still wanted to offer it to the community,” she said.

In addition to an evening of fun, Cox hopes the event exposes more people to all the things that are offered at the nature center.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out here and see our center. We have people who live a mile up from us and say, ‘We didn’t know this building was here,’” she explained.

“It’s also a great opportunity to spend your money and spend it locally. It all goes toward feeding those lives animals and with helping their upkeep,” she added.

Those interested in signing up for the escape room can do so at mycountyparks.com. The rooms are available Nov. 1 at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Nov. 2 through Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m. Each team can reserve a slot for $48; up to eight people can join a team. Participants are asked to sign up by Oct. 27.

“It’s going to be a ton of fun. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with friends or family for a little bit of time,” Cox said.