C&NN Connect

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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!

 


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Erica,  How cool! This space looks amazing - and love the bare feet!  Look forward to seeing more photos and hearing about the April 9th Play Day. This is a great model - sure to inspire others. 


Erica Quigley said:

We're so excited to share our NEW natural playspace with Boston families! We've got a stream where kids can build a dam, a dirt-digging area, a shelter-building spot, and much more. Come out anytime - it's free. We're having a Nature Play Date on Saturday, April 9: see info below.

 

At Mass Audubon's Boston Nature Center, we love to play! Drop in anytime to enjoy our new nature play area. Dig in the dirt, make a dam in the stream, or build a shelter. We'll have staff on hand to provide digging tools, musical instruments, and art activities. Unstructured outdoor play is a fun way to develop creativity and a deep connection to nature. While your children play, you can play alongside them or just relax in the seating area. We will also offer classes (fee required) about gardening for children and adults, as well as a program about the Asian Longhorned Beetle, a potential threat to local trees. This event is part of a nationwide, youth-led Children & Nature Network initiative to rally people of all ages to be active, have fun, and connect with nature. FREE. Check out our website for more info: www.massaudubon.org/Boston

Hi Leslie, great idea to collaborate with the Eco-Fair.  Sounds amazing.  Would love to see some photos and hear more as your events take place. We can feature the family-friendly Natural Service projects on the Natural Service group too!


Leslie Cook said:

In Jackson, WY, we are planning a Let's Get Outside (G.O.) event in conjunction with the annual EcoFair on April 23.  Every year the EcoFair has exhibits, demonstrations, and vendors for adults and activities for kids.  This year, the kids activities will be themed around Let's G.O.  There will be geocaching, supervised free play, and child- & family-friendly Natural Service projects like building bird boxes and planting native seeds.  We are excited for Let's G.O. to become a part of the EcoFair in Jackson!

Plans are also in the works for an event in Cheyenne on Earth Day.  More to come on that event!

My favorite garlic mustard recipes:

 

Boil potatoes. Mash a little w/butter and cream. Add garlic mustard to wilt. Eat!

 

On pizza. In eggs. In salad. In tomato sauce over pasta or eggplant.

 

Enjoy!

Avery Cleary said:

Lana, Sounds like a fun time in 'Pooh Country' - great way to play , serve and celebrate all in one! Look forward to hearing how it goes.

Lana Jerome said:

Here in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area, Grass Lake Sanctuary and REI are teaming up to tame the invasive garlic mustard in the magical area we call 'Pooh Country'. Families are invited to play, serve and celebrate with us Saturday, April 16 from 12 - 3 pm.

 

Pulling garlic mustard is easy and as we help the woods become healthy, we also connect ourselves to nature. I personally look forward to sharing my love of nature with 'kids of all ages'. We will explore  the woods to see what plants have sprung up in Spring and finish with a tasty treat.

 

As the land steward, I feel excited that we are partnering with REI and Let's G.O.! Get Outside to help further the awareness of the wonders of nature through service.

 

GLS provides other ways to stay connected to nature.  Everyone is invited to our annual 'Earth Connections Day' on June 25  as well as monthly volunteer days. We look forward to sharing this special place with you.  Whether you live in the area or are visiting, we invite you to contact us to find out what is happening.  E-mail me or check out our website www.grasslakesanctuary.org

Children and their grown-ups are being invited to Go Outside on Family Nature Day, April 17, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. I know that most people think of buildings associated with museums, but we have a special environment for children to explore the natural world:  the natural world.  With 4 acres of oak woodland and Mission Creek to explore, we've added a place called The Museum Backyard where "kids can be kids."  With trail markers that give parents permission to allow kids to build (forts, dens), search (for critters), listen (to nesting birds, rushing water, screaming red-shouldered hawks), create (mud pies), the Backyard is becoming a local favorite.  We have boats to race down a water course requiring problem-solving and agility, buckets and water pumps - exploring cause and effect, fallen logs - encourages balance and observation, and a performance stage that allows kids to use their imagination and creativity. 

In another outdoor  area, children are provided with natural elements like shells, stones, seed pods, pine cones,  drift wood, and flowers and encouraged to create Small Worlds - homes for elves, gnomes, or fairies hidden in out of the way spaces.  The only problem we have is getting kids to leave!  Parents feel safe with their children and are encouraged by staff and other parents to allow their children to get dirty, sometimes wet, and always happy.  Children lose all sense of time as they follow their own sense of curiosity and allow nature to meet the needs that children didn't know existed.

We watch children who were previously afraid of all bugs overcome their fears when finding beetles in the compost piles.  Kids strike up friendships with new children in pursuit of a goal - let's build a fort!  Can I make mud pies with you?  The look on kid faces is one of contentment, concentration, and purpose.  Playing outside was never just playing.  Nature was growing children.  Given the opportunity, kids know how to be kids.

Attachments:
As a Natural Leader I am excited to celebrate the impact and history of Arbor Day in Nebraska while celebrating military families. Our celebration starts at the Arbor Day Tree Adventure in Nebraska City during Arbor Day weekend with a reception for military families where they can connect with each other and sign up for nature play groups. Along with the parades, hikes, and other activities throughout the day we will host a naturalist led flag walk and nature photography lessons. We will also host an expo with organizations and activities that help families “Learn it. Live it. Love it.” so they can learn of all the opportunities available to connect families with nature. I am excited to spend the day playing outside with these amazing families to celebrate their service to this country.

Hanna, that sounds really terrific - a joyous way to celebrate Arbor Day, nature, service, and community. Many thanks for all the organization you did to make this special day happen. I can't wait to hear more about it, both before and afterwards.

 

In fact, everyone's events sounds really wonderful and inspirational. Are you all registering them on the Let's G.O.! site? There's a link to it on the main page of this C&NN Connect forum. I recommend you all list your events. It will help you and us publicize them and will help us keep track of all the terrific Let's G.O.! events people are planning for April. Thanks again for all you're doing for your communities and to get children into nature.

 

 

The Houston Children and Nature Coalition, in partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful and many other agencies, will be participating in a volunteer build for a nature playscape at Piney Point Elementary on Thursday April 7th, from 7 am to noon. A grant from Scott’s Miracle-Gro, as part of their Gro 1000 program, provided ‘seed’ money to get the project started, and many other agencies and organizations have made in-kind donations that are truly amazing. This is probably a $30,000 job being installed for next to nothing, thanks to the power of volunteers and donations!  On April 7th volunteers will performing an array of tasks, including: building rasised vegetable gardens, creating a haybale maze, planting raingardens, butterfly gardens and many trees; building vine tepess and a willow tunnel, spreading turfgrass seed over mounds of dirt to create grassy berms, and installing several different pathways (wood fiber, tree cookies, etc.) This exciting project will transform a typical play-equipment-dominated playground into a vibrant, dynamic playing and learning environment that inspires students to be more engaged with their school setting!
Attachments:
On April 1st, there will be two screening of the new documentary, MOTHER NATURE'S CHILD: GROWING OUTDOORS IN THE MEDIA AGE: an afternoon session at the Wellborn Ecology Conference and an evening event at NorthWoods Stewardship Center. Director Camilla Rockwell will lead post-film discussions at both!
This film is a "MUST SEE!" It has been so helpful in inspiring folks to deepen vital connections between youth and nature!

Using the Power of Nature to Transform Urban Youth

3rd Annual LET'S G.O. (GET OUTDOORS) COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP in Albany, NY
                                           
Participants: Green Tech High Charter School, Men Of Model, Albany NAACP, Albany City School District, Community Volunteers and YOU

Saturday, April 2, 2011
10:00am Sharp
Starting location: 744 Broadway

Clean-up Route:
Stephan & Harriet Meyers Homestead
Elizabeth Street Park
Lincoln Park
Third Ave. Park (Livingston & Lake)
Redemption Park
Community Raised-Bed Garden Lot (New Covenant Church - Clinton Ave.)


Please join!

 


For more information and to sign-up as a volunteer…contact:
Brother Yusuf Burgess @ 518.330.901 or Tyrell Hughes @ 518.330.1333

 

Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and the Village of Questa, New Mexico will be Playing! Serving! Celebrating! on April 16th. Youth and adult volunteers will revitalize and restore the playground at the Questa Municipal Park and enjoy a day of food, service and community.
Do you live in Northern New Mexico? Want to Get Outside? Contact Rosie at 575-751-1420 or rosie@yourthcorps.
This came in from C&NN Connect member Mary H. Jones:

 

Let's G.O. Fly a Kite!

 

Outside for A Better Inside, Lawrence Kansas will be sponsoring a Kite flying event to get Families Outside.  Saturday, April 16th from 2:00 p.m. till 4:00 p.m. Children of all ages are invited to the Holcom Park Soccer Fields to fly their Kites. Kites may be made or purchased.  There are several web sites that provide help with making kites. There will be prizes and lots of great outdoor fun!

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