Finding Nature Everywhere

Last week, I attended the Children and Nature Network’s Grassroots Gathering in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.  It was a wonderful group of very dedicated people working together to get kids in touch with nature.  I heard some great ideas – family nature clubs, working with new immigrants and harnessing social media to connect people together who are working exceptionally hard to reverse a dangerous trend.  I sat with the leaders of this movement – Richard Louv, Robert Bateman, Adam Bienenstock and Juan Martinez amongst others.  Everyone was amazing and I left feeling even more inspired than when I began.

At the end of the gathering, I stayed the evening in Washington, DC and decided to wander down to the Washington Mall.  For those of you who haven’t been to DC – the mall is that huge green space in the middle of town with Mr Lincoln at the one end and the US Capitol at the other end.  I was there at about 9 pm and wandered around the Lincoln Memorial and looked at the moon with about a thousand of my closest friends.  I ran into Scouts and families, Americans, Canadians and people from all around the world.  There were young people and old people.  They all had one thing in common – they looked at the memorial for sure, but pretty soon they found themselves looking at the moon.  They listened to the sound of crickets.  They were fascinated by the praying mantis that I found around the back of the monument (I was too – it was the first one I’ve ever seen in the wild) and they looked for the stars.

We can find nature in the strangest of places.  I’ve found it in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.  I’ve found it on the Las Vegas strip and at a Jacksonville conference centre.  I hate it when people say that nature isn’t accessible to some people – it’s accessible to everyone, we just have to know where to look.

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