Bird ID now available for Android users

Been playing with the MERLIN Bird ID from Cornell,Click the link and it will take you to their site.You can also find it in the Google Play Store.


5 Tips for Camping With Kids

The Nature Coach:

Great Article on Camping from a great group OAK

Originally posted on Outdoors Alliance for Kids:

OAK Member guest blog by Jessica Culverhouse, National Recreation and Park Association

My family and I love to camp. My husband and I both grew up in camping families, and when our son was born, we knew we wanted to take him camping early and often to help foster a love for the outdoors and spend fun, quality time together. Our first camping trip as a family was to nearby Lake Fairfax Park when James was two months old.

first camping tripsOn the left, the writer’s first camping trip was an opportunity for her parents to take embarrassing photos. On the right, Jessica camping with her son and their dog.

With camping season underway in much of the country, I encourage you to pack up the kids and the tent and head to your local park. Whether you’re a camping newbie or an experienced backcountry adventurer, camping with kids can be a…

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Author Richard Louv challenges Charlotte to connect children with nature

Author Richard Louv challenges Charlotte to connect children with nature |

- Courtesy of Richard Louv
Richard Louv

    The Anne Springs Close Greenway celebrates Earth Day on Saturday with special events from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Admission is free. Activities include guided hikes, lead-line horse rides, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, geocaching and wagon rides. The address is 288 Dairy Barn Lane, Fort Mill, S.C. For details:

Best-selling author Richard Louv issued Charlotte a challenge Friday: Become America’s best city at connecting kids with nature.

More than just childhood memories are at stake, Louv told a luncheon held in support of the Anne Springs Close Greenway. Medical studies show that children who experience nature are both physically and mentally stronger because of it, he said.

Louv, who wrote “Last Child in the Woods” among other books, said he also challenged his hometown of San Diego, but the Charlotte region is just as capable.

“I was very impressed with (the Carolina Thread Trail), with how it crosses borders to other counties, to another state,” he said.

A portion of the Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, S.C., is part of the Thread Trail, a 15-county network of existing and planned trails. Last Monday, the Springs-Close family announced a $15 million capital campaign to preserve the greenway for future generations.

Louv also noted the YMCA’s signature Camp Thunderbird on Lake Wylie and the Charlotte Observer’s annual Summer Camp Fund. Reader donations to the fund enabled more than 200 children from low-income families to attend camp last year.

A study soon to be released by the University of Illinois tracked the test results for children in more than 500 schools in the Chicago area, Louv said. It found that the single greatest factor behind improved scores was the exposure of children to nature, he said.

Louv believes the link is genetic. Other studies show that exercise indoors is good for you, but exercise outdoors is even better. He said pediatricians who are sold on the positive effects have begun writing “nature prescriptions” to help children coping with a wide range of issues, from attention deficit disorder to autism.

“What if the whole city (of Charlotte) began to think about that?” Louv said.

As it stands, more children are losing this opportunity, he said. The year 2008 marked the first time that more Americans lived inside cities than in the countryside, Louv said. That adds to the responsibility of cities to provide adequate parks and green spaces, he said.

Charlotte, he said later, could aspire to be a “nature-rich” city.

“Conservation is no longer enough,” Louv said. “We need to create nature.”

The Nature Zone–A Review of “The Nature Principle”

The Nature Coach:

Great article on The Education Cafe Blog

Originally posted on The Education Cafe:

By: Delana H Stewart

Do you desire for yourself or your children:

  • A sharper mind?
  • A stronger immune system?
  • Less stress?
  • More energy and strength?
  • Better instincts?
  • Enriched creativity, imagination, inspiration?
  • Increased patience?
  • Heightened senses?
  • Greater sense of satisfaction with life?
  • An edge in a competitive job market?
  • A healthy and fit body?
  • Relief from physical or emotional pain?
  • A deeper connection with the Creator?

Vitamin N

If I told you I knew of a vitamin you could take that had mountains of research backing its claims to do all that and more, you and countless others would stand in line for it. Richard Louv, in his book The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (NP), calls it Vitamin N for nature. Mr. Louv also authored the bookLast Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder (LC). You probably do not have time…

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Become a Trainer for Tread Lightly

We are now offer Tread Lightly Trainer Courses


Nature Walks: Tips on Getting Kids Outside from BirdSleuth


This is a ReBlog from the BirdSleuth site

Nature is my Medicine : Cornell Lab of Ornithology: BirdSleuth K-12.


Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate nature walks into the school day:

  • Take your students outside for brief walks as a midday break (and try doing some bird watching and identification along the way!)
  • From physics, to literature, to life science… use the environment within walking distance of your school to demonstrate concepts you’re covering in your curriculum
  • When the weather permits, find an outdoor spot in your schoolyard and hold class outside

In 2006, a group of educators, community leaders, and writers founded the Children and Nature Network with the goal of fostering vital connections between children and nature. The network’s website is full of resources, tips, and research on the subject of making nature a part of our children’s worlds. You can also use BirdSleuth resources to guide you as you connect your kids to nature through outdoor learning. Our Most Wanted Birdscurriculum emphasizes learning scientific concepts through outdoor, inquiry-based experiences. If you’re not looking for a full curriculum, consider our bird bingo and scavenger hunt cards. These fun and inexpensive resources are sure to get your students excited to spend time outdoors, and can be used again and again for years to come.

Need funding for your Nature and EE Programs ?

Environmental Education Crowdsourcing Platform to launch in November 2013 !

Many Nature Centers,schools and youth programs struggle to find the same investors and funding that Art,Heritage and Tech programs are able to secure.

We have a Great Need to get more kids to take a walk in a Forest,where their drinking water comes from and how to explore and learn in an outdoor classroom.

This year a company from the New England area WorthWild LLC  plans to launch a Platform to help get the funds needed to get more people outside. Here is a link to their blog page and FACEBOOK Page here.

Quote from the website

“WorthWild is a crowdfunding/crowdsourcing platform that helps individuals and organizations get funds, volunteers and feedback for environmental initiatives. We focus on three areas: environmental education, conservation and environmental innovation.”

Crowdsourcing is a new way of raising funds for ventures and uses social media to find many smaller investors that have the same mission or goals as you.

I am very excited to see projects that I can get involved with and maybe find partners that help me get more people OUTSIDE ! Go to the website and sign up for updates and get involved !

Discover the Forest


Holding Class in the Wilderness

Originally posted on Conserve School Blog:

Yesterday and today, English and History students are spending the afternoon snowshoeing north into the Sylvania Wilderness in small groups. (Another graduate fellow and I are assisting teachers Jeff Rennicke and Michael Salat with this lesson so that we can have fewer students per instructor.) Armed with maps and compasses, each group set out for a different lake in the wilderness area, navigating through areas of forest with no trails. As a staff member, my job was to stand back and let the students lead the way! We took excerpts from two books with us to read and discuss in the woods. The first was a section of Into the Wild, the book students are currently reading in English class, that dealt with the idea of acceptable risk. The second, a section from Endurance, was part of the current history unit on Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctica expedition, and we…

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How close to nature are we?

The Nature Coach:

While this blog post is located in the UK, the subject is Nature and Children and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Originally posted on Outdoor Nation:

Back in January 2013, two reports were published examining three years’ data (March 2009 – February 2012) captured by the ongoing ‘Monitor of Engagement with the Natural Environment’ (MENE) survey.

Commissioned by Natural England and English Heritage and carried out by TNS Global and King’s College London, the first report analyses visits to the natural environment by adults, taken with children: ‘MENE (2009-2012): Analysis of data related to visits with children’. With growing evidence demonstrating the benefits of childhood experiences in natural environments – and recent surveys showing that the vast majority of children are losing connection with their local green spaces – it is becoming increasingly important to develop a detailed understanding of how adults and children are making use of their local environment.

Some barriers to visiting green spaces are cited as:

  • Too busy at home
  • Too busy at work
  • And only 3% of visits taken…

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