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It is APRIL!!! and I can't wait to hear about all the stories out there. Please let us know how your event went, share stories, photos, etc. We want to hear about it! You are the fire behind this movement filled with joy.

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Let's G.O.! Nashua in Mine Falls Park was a great success! I was so happy to see 3 different Girl Scout and Brownie troops come out to join the fun!

The younger participants collected litter and educated park users about picking up after their pets. Some of the high school students participating cleaned debris out of streams and rivers in the park.

I am always inspired to see people who care about the environment and their community come together to do something so positive. Thank you very much to the Mine Falls Park Advisory Committee for all of your good works!

Hello from Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, out near Nampa, Idaho! We held our Let's G.O. event this past Saturday, entitled Earth Day Work Day.

We couldn't have asked for better weather, and the Refuge couldn't have asked for a better bunch of volunteers to celebrate Earth Day with in a special way! Thank you all so much for helping improve wildlife habitat by digging up weeds, picking up trash, and cleaning up the visitor center. You have made Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge a better place for native plants to thrive, animals to live, and people to enjoy.

I was amazed to see the great turn out - 103 volunteers served 309 hours Saturday! This was the largest Earth Day Work Day session Deer Flat ever had. Thanks to the groups who participated this year: Boise River Helpers, Broadview University, iSucceed Virtual High School, LDS Young Single Adults, and Cub Scout Troop 410. And of course, thank you to all families, friends, and individuals who participated as well. Every person made a difference Saturday, and they should be very proud of themselves.

Some quick numbers for you... 1,127 white bryony and poison hemlock weeds were dug up, over 50 bags of litter were collected, seven tires were found, and countless laughs and smiles were spotted!

Secondly, their hard work did not go unnoticed. KBOI-TV Channel 2 filmed and ran a brief clip and volunteer interview about the Earth Day Work Day event on their Saturday evening and nightly news program. And in Sunday's Idaho Statesman, we were the number one story on the second page! Check out a few other pictures that the Statesman snapped of the event here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/04/23/1621005/earth-work-day-at-...

 

And lastly, REI was generous enough to donate a light hiking backpack to one lucky volunteer. Through a random selection, Andrielle Cizmich has won the Stoke 9 Ultralight Outdoor Fitness Backpack!! Congrats Andrielle, and thank you for your family's help landscaping the visitor center on Saturday. And thank you to REI for donating this backpack and supporting outdoor community service work.

Great success!


On Friday, Earth Day began with the showing of the film Mother Nature’s Child. The participants seemed deeply touched by the film and the meaningful connection to their own childhoods and values – particularly child-initiated experiences in nature and the sense of competence that comes from solitude in the natural world.

 

A parent reflected on the intellectual curiosity and work that brought her to the Bay Area but she deeply wishes for the contentment of immersion in nature as an everyday experience.  Many felt a sense of anguish – their perceptions were that the experiences seen in the film are not easily accessible. A parent talked about roaming as a child in her native country and that her creativity comes directly from those experiences. After seeing the film she said, in reference to her family life, “I knew something has been missing.”

 

Participants gave examples of the obstacles they face in their everyday life in neighborhoods with activity driven and often fearful parents who view of nature as non-essential. The neighborhoods stand empty with cars driving children back and forth and, once home, the children stay inside. One parent voiced a worry ― if this generation is disconnected from nature, there won’t be anything passed to next generation.

 

It is difficult to convey the range of emotions that surfaced in the discussion after the film. It went beyond an ordinary conversation to a sense of awakening that I am grateful for ― I know there is action that will follow.


Photos- I hope that everyone enjoyed this beautiful month of April. The 5th Annual Urban Forestry Festival/Let's G.O.-Atlanta where we introduced 324+ people to the Outdoor Activity Center in the heart of  Southwest Atlanta.

So,as early as 8am the birds were awake, & as well as the Atlanta Audubon Society finding brown thrashers,owls,hawks,and a rare city friend of ours the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) also known as Woody the Woodpecker. Enjoy!

   REI & U.S. Forestry lead hikes throughout 26acres of Urban Forestry. U.S. Fish & Wildlife gave families a chance to hoop,skip, even hang upside-down like wild life playing a game of Animal Olympics. Keeeping It Wild encourage families to continue exploring nature beyond the urban forestries, and venture to our backyard State Parks and National Treasures. 

Enlightment, Education and Fun were key concepts in giving families a crash course in PEAK training. Also aquiring, How To: Grow and Maintain urban gardens and most importantly gain knowledge on water conservation methods for their homes. For as we see the Outdoor Activity Center as a elementary gateway to our bigger reserves.

Last but not least, I enjoyed partnering with West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Evonne Blythers,Darryl Haddock and NaTaki Osbourne-Jelks in preparing this event.

 

To see the joy on families faces as you will see in the photos above PRICELESS.

 

James E. King II

Natural Leader 

One word: WOW! These are all such fantastic reports. I can't believe the wonderful energy and activities that have occurred at these Let's G.O.! events.

 

Rebecca, I'm thrilled that a multi-age Scout troop came out to help clean up a beautiful area. Thank you for making that happen and for your leadership around Let's G.O.!

 

Cody, your event sounds like a rousing success, from start to finish. Amazing turnout, activity, media attention, partnership. I think next year, you can teach others how to do this!

 

Mary, I'm so glad you got to screen Mother Nature's Child and use it as a catalyst for such meaningful discussion. I hope that discussion and other outcomes - perhaps some shifts in behavior? -  can continue.

 

James, you're right. You can't look at that picture and read about all the fun activities that took place during your event and not smile! Kudos to you for partnering with great people and producing a wonderful and meaningful day for many. It's great that people learned valuable skills to take with them.

 

Congratulations and thank you to you all!

Amazing, the bay knows how to play! Outside that is, Congrats on a great event!

Mary Roscoe said:

The Family Play Day in Oakland  on April 2nd was wonderful! Significant outreach took place, youth were involved in play ranger trainings, and extraordinary natural materials were foraged for the Wild Zone and event.

The Family Play Day quickly took on the look of a village — structures were created with giant palms, bamboo, and other foliage.  Little ones played with water and mud, older kids spoke and moved with excitement, and families huddled happily together in their creations. At the end of the afternoon, the materials were gathered again and sorted to remain in the area with the hope of a permanent Wild Zone in the future.
Girl Scouts! always bringing the fun, looks like everyone had a great time, thanks for posting Rebecca!

Rebecca Martin said:

Let's G.O.! Nashua in Mine Falls Park was a great success! I was so happy to see 3 different Girl Scout and Brownie troops come out to join the fun!

The younger participants collected litter and educated park users about picking up after their pets. Some of the high school students participating cleaned debris out of streams and rivers in the park.

I am always inspired to see people who care about the environment and their community come together to do something so positive. Thank you very much to the Mine Falls Park Advisory Committee for all of your good works!

AMAZING! Thanks Cody for posting, IDAHO in the house, great work all around, really inspiring!

Cody Dix said:

Hello from Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, out near Nampa, Idaho! We held our Let's G.O. event this past Saturday, entitled Earth Day Work Day.

We couldn't have asked for better weather, and the Refuge couldn't have asked for a better bunch of volunteers to celebrate Earth Day with in a special way! Thank you all so much for helping improve wildlife habitat by digging up weeds, picking up trash, and cleaning up the visitor center. You have made Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge a better place for native plants to thrive, animals to live, and people to enjoy.

I was amazed to see the great turn out - 103 volunteers served 309 hours Saturday! This was the largest Earth Day Work Day session Deer Flat ever had. Thanks to the groups who participated this year: Boise River Helpers, Broadview University, iSucceed Virtual High School, LDS Young Single Adults, and Cub Scout Troop 410. And of course, thank you to all families, friends, and individuals who participated as well. Every person made a difference Saturday, and they should be very proud of themselves.

Some quick numbers for you... 1,127 white bryony and poison hemlock weeds were dug up, over 50 bags of litter were collected, seven tires were found, and countless laughs and smiles were spotted!

Secondly, their hard work did not go unnoticed. KBOI-TV Channel 2 filmed and ran a brief clip and volunteer interview about the Earth Day Work Day event on their Saturday evening and nightly news program. And in Sunday's Idaho Statesman, we were the number one story on the second page! Check out a few other pictures that the Statesman snapped of the event here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/04/23/1621005/earth-work-day-at-...

 

And lastly, REI was generous enough to donate a light hiking backpack to one lucky volunteer. Through a random selection, Andrielle Cizmich has won the Stoke 9 Ultralight Outdoor Fitness Backpack!! Congrats Andrielle, and thank you for your family's help landscaping the visitor center on Saturday. And thank you to REI for donating this backpack and supporting outdoor community service work.

Great success!

PRICELESS it is! ATL knows how to keep it Wild! Amazing what a small group of individuals with a vision for a better tomorrow can acomplish, Thanks Mr. King for always making it one of a kind!

James E. King II said:

Photos- I hope that everyone enjoyed this beautiful month of April. The 5th Annual Urban Forestry Festival/Let's G.O.-Atlanta where we introduced 324+ people to the Outdoor Activity Center in the heart of  Southwest Atlanta.

So,as early as 8am the birds were awake, & as well as the Atlanta Audubon Society finding brown thrashers,owls,hawks,and a rare city friend of ours the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) also known as Woody the Woodpecker. Enjoy!

   REI & U.S. Forestry lead hikes throughout 26acres of Urban Forestry. U.S. Fish & Wildlife gave families a chance to hoop,skip, even hang upside-down like wild life playing a game of Animal Olympics. Keeeping It Wild encourage families to continue exploring nature beyond the urban forestries, and venture to our backyard State Parks and National Treasures. 

Enlightment, Education and Fun were key concepts in giving families a crash course in PEAK training. Also aquiring, How To: Grow and Maintain urban gardens and most importantly gain knowledge on water conservation methods for their homes. For as we see the Outdoor Activity Center as a elementary gateway to our bigger reserves.

Last but not least, I enjoyed partnering with West Atlanta Watershed Alliance, Evonne Blythers,Darryl Haddock and NaTaki Osbourne-Jelks in preparing this event.

 

To see the joy on families faces as you will see in the photos above PRICELESS.

 

James E. King II

Natural Leader 

ALBANY in the house, always showing up to represent. The work you all do out there is always one I keep in my pocket for some inspiration. Thanks for all you do!

Tyrell Hughes said:

WOW bro!! Let's G.O. in Albany, NY was a humbling experience...

We started the day with laughter and food at our offices (with the kids watching bebe's kids, CLASSIC)  We moved the troop out and walked to our sites... getting our WORK-OUTS on traveling to our 1st location which was the home of Stephen and Harriet Myers.. local philanthropist who took place and use their home as a safe haven during the Underground railroad..  Truly powerful piece to be connected to HISTORY.. Then we took to the streetz cleaning up trash along the way to our next place.. which is the soon to be home of a community raised bed garden with help from our friends at Northface and Outdoor Nation..  The kids and elders from the NAACP bridge the gap for me and we even had one of our local officials Hon. Helen Heath-Roland (a local judge who supports our efforts) come out..  After a day of cleaning we went to the University at Albany for more outdoor games (sack racing, football) and good ol cooking on the grill.  Truly healing day... I am thankful that we here in Albany were able to to participate in our national initiative...  TRULY THANKFUL  Check out www.menofmodel.org and click on our Facebook link for all the photos...  

Congrats on the new website, amazing stories and can't wait to hear more to come as San Diego stays classy, Outside! ;-)

Sylvia Busby said:

Greetings from the San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative! We co-organized an event on Saturday, April 2, part of San Diego's month long "Family Nature Days April 2011", along with San Diego Audubon Society and SDG&E's Environmental All-Stars program at the San Dieguito Lagoon.  Families had the opportunity to come out to experience the beautifully restored San Dieguito lagoon, enjoy the view of the lagoon and wetlands, and get a chance to see shorebirds, waterfowl and other wildlife!  There were also hands-on activities for children such as making seedballs, transplanting a native coastal plant, and learning about fish, insects and birds!  In addition, there were walks hosted by Family Adventures in Nature along the lagoon trail, as well as stations along the trail set up with bird spotting scopes hosted by San Diego Audubon volunteers!  

 

Truly a collaborative effort and a beautiful day to kick off the month of Let's G.O!  In addition, we were celebrating the launch of our new website www.SDChildrenAndNature.org, which lists family nature events happening locally!

One happy attendee had this to say about the family event: "A had a wonderful time going down the trail. He potted a plant, watched a red-winged blackbird through a telescope, observed white bass through a microscope, sorted insects from non-insects, played with plastic fish (for the younger crowd), enjoyed a granola bar and came home with an organic cotton T-shirt size XS courtesy SDG&E and a small pouch that perfectly fits Mama's camera :)...Thanks to the organizers for a great event!"

 

Inner City Outings & Natural Teachers trailblazing ahead into making this a better world. Thanks for all you do Larry and for the amazing story, now I think I need to find a hill to do some rolling of my own!

Larry Volpe said:

The Natural Teacher brought 10 of my 5th graders to NorCal's largest state park. Henry Coe State Park is a Mecca for wildflowers in the spring. The weather on Saturday was perfect for a 4 mile hike through oak woodland and chaparral habitats. We identified 21 species of wildflowers with many more not being ID'd. Adults and kids all had a blast. We saw some wild turkeys and a few deer during the ride. Of course the kids were too noisy and excited to spot any wildlife on the trail. Well, maybe a few squirrels, jays and some soaring turkey vultures. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Frog Lake then explored a hillside and climbed some rocks. On our explorations we found a downed tree that was home to a termite colony where we had a closer look at the difference between the workers and the soldiers. Under the bark we also found a centipede, a click beetle larva (wireworm) as well as an adult click beetle. Some of the highlights during our adventure was barrel rolling down a hill and getting very dizzy as well as running through the stream. There was plenty of time for discussions during the hike, among the topics were fire ecology (over 50% of Coe burned a few years ago), pollination of gymnosperms, forest ecology, butterfly biology and much more. Topics were chosen by teachable moments encountered on the trail or by students' questions.  TONS OF FUN. What a way to spend a Saturday!

Thanks to Inner City Outings and all their selfless volunteers who give their time so that I may bring these kinds of adventures to my students.  You can volunteer or donate too... http://www.sierraclub.org/ico/

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