We're hearing about all sorts of events in April that are being organized by C&NN Connect members, regional leaders, family clubs, natural leaders and natural teachers. We'd love to hear what you are thinking about or already have planned - a beach clean-up, a family hike, a week of science classes in a nearby creek?
Let's G.O.! Just click "▶ Reply to This" below, and post your news here. We'll be letting others know on Twitter, Facebook and in the Let's G.O.! news blasts.
Join the FUN and put your city on the map -- share your celebration of nature today!
My good friend Donal has been running Adventure Learning Camps http://www.adventurelearningcamps.org/
out of Moscow, ID for about 6 years or so. I think the organization he founded (in Portland, then moved to ID) actually does fit the bill of "whose mission was primarily founded on the principles of experiential/outdoor education, and that offers these types of experiences for individuals, groups, schools, and agencies." You should look him up...the more connections between groups that do great things, the better of we all are!
Let me begin by saying how grateful I am to have found your organization, website and services. I think this is a great way to create community for a common cause!
Now for a little background and info on how we are going to "play, serve and celebrate"....
I moved to North Idaho over 5 years ago. Being an outdoor educator and avid outdoor enthusiast, like many of us, I have continued to choose to live in areas where I can directly experience nature and areas of wilderness fairly quickly. Fortunately, North Idaho (and the surrounding states and provinces) have just this setting. Unfortunately, also like other "special places" these areas are in jeopardy of/and are receiving significant impact from various sources. What some folks don't realize is that this region hosts a wide variety of flora and fauna that are either considered endangered or threatened. The animal species include of the more "treasured" -- wolves, grizzly, wolverine and caribou. Obviously, these species need critical habitat to survive and thrive.
Seeing this conflict has allowed me and my colleagues to visualize both the need and one possible solution for this issue -- education. By immersing our residents and visitors in our local and regional natural environments we can provide an opportunity to create a sense of belonging through establishing a direct connection to the natural world. This vision initiated the creation of a new local non-profit in Sandpoint, Idaho known as Selkirk Outdoor Leadership & Education, or SOLE.
While there are other non-profits in our area that serve to support the protection of key wilderness areas, there was not one particular organization whose mission was primarily founded on the principles of experiential/outdoor education, and that offers these types of experiences for individuals, groups, schools, and agencies.
Currently, SOLE is in its second year of development. Like most non-profits we are eager to support our immediate and global community. As such we consistently offer free workshops with other organizations to support the overarching theme -- creating stewards of the environment and lifelong learners!
To celebrate this commitment on April 22nd SOLE will facilitate free Leave No Trace Activities for kids. More information can be found at our website at www.soleexperiences.org or our facebook fan page.
We look forward to continuing the journey -- to share and educate!
Dennison Webb, Executive Director
I was mainly referring to the immediate Sandpoint/Bonner's Ferry area. I will say from here to Eastern Washington to Western Montana there are very few of programs like us, and therefore, all the more reason for the need to network and support programs like us. So, thanks for the heads up! I will be sure to check him/them out.
Ann, this sounds like a great way for the students to make a difference and have fun! Look forward to seeing the photo. Wonderful to hear the students are engaged in projects all year. Thank you for helping them give back and celebrate!
Ann Covert said:
May Watts Elementary students in Naperville, Illinois will work with their Ecology Club consisting of 4th and 5th graders on a whole school outdoor photo op. All 600+ students will work to produce a creative spelling of the word EARTH viewed from the hill near their school. May Watts students are passionate about saving the earth! This school works all year long, every year on projects that help protect the earth. Our photo will be taken during Earth Week when the whole school participates in special activities that celebrate our planet!
I have been diligently training my students to be garden tour docents. Every year the Santa Clara Chapter of the California Native Plant Society hosts the Going Native Garden Tour in which citizens, and public lands, open their gardens to the public and offer guided tours for people to learn about the benefits of planting natives.
The students have been weeding and beautifying our school grounds on a daily basis for weeks and have been planting a few new plants. They have been researching the native plants we have growing to find out the wildlife value, water requirements, the habitats you can find the plants in the wild and much more. They will be ready to teach the public all the benefits of landscaping with natives, including water conservation, no need for toxic pesticides (the native garden surrounds an extensive organic vegetable garden), wildlife habitat, aesthetics and much, much more.
Since 2003, the Bay Area's pioneering native garden tour has showcased gardens featuring California native plants. This community-based tour is free of charge to the public. Each tour features 40-70 gardens, most of them private home gardens, which are open on tour day in a do-it-yourself, open house format.
The gardens on the tour demonstrate reduced water use, reduced chemical and pesticide use, improved habitat, and the unique aesthetic appeal of gardens designed with California native plants. Our website also provides resources to help Bay Area gardeners to “go native” in their own gardens.
THE TOUR IS FREE. On tour day, sponsoring nurseries will conduct native plant sales at select gardens. Part of the proceeds benefit Going Native Garden Tour.
Register Now for the 2011 Tour
Sun, April 17, 10:00am to 4:00pm
A free tour of native gardens in Santa Clara Valley & Peninsula, San Francisco Bay Area
Organized by the California Native Plant Society (Santa Clara Valley Chapter) in association with UCCE Master Gardeners of Santa Clara County.
This will by my second chance to be involved in Let's G.O., and this year I'm celebrating with a variety of events in my new home state of Connecticut! I am leading a camping trip in Yale-owned forests for Sierra Club's Inner City Outings (ICO). In addition to learning how to camp, roast marshmallows, see the stars for the first time - identifying the constellations with a star chart, and other new outdoor experiences for these inner-city youth, I will be hosting a dance-in-the-woods workshop with a local dance company composed of high school students from the Cooperative Arts & Humanities school in downtown New Haven during the camping trip. Also, I will be leading the same ICO group along with their families on an outdoor pizza cooking adventure at the Yale Farm. I hope to collect some wild edibles to put on the pies with the children as well.
Finally, I hope to spend at least one hour outside every day myself during the month of April, weather-INdependent! Let's Get Outside, everyone!
Wow, Matt You've got it covered! Fun, food (love the wild edibles) and awesome experiences outside for the youth and their families. Also love your idea to spend an hour outside yourself each day. Sounds very restorative - think I'll try it!
Matthew H. E. M. Browning said:
I love to share my celebration with nature. The Children Nature Connection of Northern Coloradoand the NOCO Nature Tribeis putting together a month long Nature Passport Adventure with the Final Destination the Lets G.O. celebration and Launch into summer of things to get out and do with your family and friends. We will have scheduled events with hikes, nature walks, full moon and moon rise hikes, story time with kids other outdoor day as spring blooms into action. We will have areas for families to explore nature on their own and high light what has been seen that day, bald eagles, foxes, deer and wildflowers emerging this time of year. We are also highlighting natural areas or parks in neighborhoods to explore without having to get in your car. We have had such an amazing response from the nature community it is amazing.. we are hoping to keep the movement going from April on....
This seems like a really neat thing you and your family are doing. If you haven't done so already, check out Leave No Trace and see if you can align some of your trips around getting folks educated on minimal impact camping and recreational practices. I think you could have some significant influence based on where you are going, which would align with your mission. They have a ton of resources and maybe even they could provide some support (Traveling Trainers to meet you at a specific spot?).