C&NN Natural Service Network

Serve Outside September


Help restore the
planet and yourself.

Plan to participate.

Members: 102
Latest Activity: Aug 2, 2017

Tell Us Your Stories

Whether you PLANT native trees or wildflowers; HELP with trail clearing, invasive plant removal, river, stream or beach cleanup; HOST a recycling event; BUILD bat boxes, bird houses and bird feeders; CREATE a butterfly garden or a wild zone, we want to hear about it. SHARE your STORIES, PHOTOS and LINKS in the discussion section below.You just might inspire someone else!


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Discussion Forum

How did your 2012 Serve Outside September event go? 2 Replies

S.O.S. volunteers combatted ‘Alien Invaders’ in Indiana; joined the Great Trash Stash in Illinois, the Buffelgrass pull in Arizona, restoration planting in California, trail maintenance in Nevada,…Continue

Started by Avery Cleary. Last reply by Avery Cleary Oct 27, 2012.

In 2012, Natural Leaders Participated in a Range of Projects for Serve Outside September (S.O.S.) 1 Reply

Jonesborough, Tennessee, community members, aged pre-natal to 67, celebrated S.O.S. by…Continue

Tags: Serve, Outside, September, REPORTOUT, Service

Started by Suz Lipman. Last reply by Lizbeth Williams Oct 22, 2012.

Congratulations to the 2012 S.O.S. REI gift card winners!

A big thank you to everyone who participated in C&NN’s Serve Outside September! We are inspired by the many ways you help your community and the natural world. We have two winners in the random…Continue

Started by Avery Cleary Oct 19, 2012.

Congratulations to NSN Survey Winner Barbara Feehan!

A big thank you to everyone who returned the C&NN Natural Service Survey!  We are inspired by your Natural Service Projects. Congratulations to Barbara Feehan who will receive the $100 REI gift…Continue

Started by Avery Cleary Aug 14, 2012.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of C&NN Natural Service Network to add comments!

Comment by amy pertschuk on January 11, 2011 at 12:23pm

Step One: Create a Wild Zone? If you don't know a what a "Wild Zone" is... visit the Wild Zone web-site. And, don't miss this fabulous YouTube video! Almost as good as being there....



Comment by Zach Pine on January 11, 2011 at 12:07pm

Hi all,

I maintain the Create-With-Nature Zone at Blake Garden in Kensington, CA. The Zone is open to the public 5 days a week for using natural materials (from the surrounding garden) to be creative in and with nature. I also volunteer to provide semi-structured activities in the Zone for field trip groups that visit the garden. I'm writing to invite any Bay Area group members to get in touch if they want to join me in the Zone, and to invite any group member to get in touch if they want consultation on creating a similar Zone in their area. See links and photo below.

-Zach Pine


Blake Garden Create-With-Nature Zone


Comment by Katie Zolezzi on January 4, 2011 at 11:30pm

HI, I am in San Diego, CA and I am on a mission to get kids back outdoors and into the world of discover and wonder - that I loved as a child. I am the Executive Director of Camp Fire USA - San Diego & Imperial Counties, and we have a 7 acre day camp of open wooded land in the middle of Balboa Park in the middle of downtown SD. Where we offer traditional summer and holiday day camps, I want to offer an educational program from Sept. through May to school kids (preschool and elementary school). I am researching funding resources to fund the kids from inner-city schools on field trips to learn about nature, conservation, ecology, birds, animals, reptiles and other critters in our local park. My environment is perfect for discovery, and central for all San Diego public schools. These are kids who can not play outdoors, due to dangers in their neighborhoods. If anyone has any ideas on funding resources, to provide scholarships and transportation for these underserved kids - please let me know. Thank you.

Comment by E skeaff on January 4, 2011 at 12:15pm

Well, I don't do specific projects but I run the website http://outdoorbabynetwork and I believe that we support and inspire families to go on adventures, start projects and inspire others to do so.


Thank you for the invite

Comment by Suz Lipman on January 4, 2011 at 10:04am

Thank you, Chip and Sara, for adding your inspiring photos and stories.


Chip, your advice to start small is terrific. As with so many things, the ideas of service and of getting into nature (let alone combining the two) can seem daunting. The small acts are often the most memorable, meaningful, and (most importantly) achievable for families and groups.


I look forward to learning much more about KIVA's Mill Mountain work. As a scout leader, I participated in many group clean-up projects (often of invasive plants, as well as trash) along San Francisco Bay, which certainly led to a greater appreciation and use of our beautiful and nearby shore.


I can't wait to learn more about the service others are doing in nature!

Comment by Sara Grover on January 4, 2011 at 9:43am
Comment by Chip Donahue on January 3, 2011 at 7:17pm
Comment by Chip Donahue on January 3, 2011 at 7:16pm
Comment by Chip Donahue on January 3, 2011 at 7:15pm
Comment by Chip Donahue on January 3, 2011 at 7:10pm

For the Donahue family, it started out simply, really. We noticed a lot of trash around our local zoo. We asked if we could help out one day in the summer. I am a school teacher and I have a little bit of extra time during the summer months. I had read about the wonderful example of Pete Seeger and his work with Clearwater, but as a father of three I didn't have time to change the world. I was mostly just changing diapers.

We chose to start out small, just picking up trash and pulling weeds.  The Donahues learned so much about family volunteering through this simple work at the zoo. We met many of the care-takers and really were able to see all the amazing things that we going on in the background at the zoo. One of the best parts was hearing other families comment about our helping out and how kids would often ask if they could help out also.

When we started KIVA, our free nature club for families, we decided to include volunteer events as well as fun play dates out in the great outdoors. We knew other families would enjoy this too. In the three years we have been hosting KIVA events, we have included at least three yearly volunteer events as well.

Some of our favorite events have been tree plantings, park clean ups and food drives for our local food bank. Every year, we host a birthday party for the KIVA group. Instead of presents, we ask families to bring a canned food item. The first year, we collected over 100 lbs., the second year over 200 lbs. and this year we have set a goal for 300 lbs..


For our 2011 Day of Service event, we are currently planning a clean up for our local favorite play place, Mill Mountain.  For many years, people have been visiting this local hot spot and enjoying the sights from our Mill Mountain Star.  Unfortunately, many of those people stop by, catch the view and then throw their trash over the lookout onto the mountain below.  A closer look on the hiking trails and into the natural habitats shows a growing heap of trash and broken glass.  We would like to combine forces with our local parks and recreation groups to get families involved in the clean up.  This will bring awareness to the growing problem and give families a better sense of ownership of this amazing natural space.  We'll let you know how it all goes!


Best of luck in your volunteering.  Remember, starting simply was the key for us.  Just carrying a plastic bag and some gloves with you when you hike as a family can lead to wonderful results, such as giving other families the chance to see nature naturally.



Members (102)


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