Inspiration Station: Natural Shadowboxes

I recently came across the shadowbox artwork of Simone LeBlanc over at the House+Home section of Terrain. While I could never dream of selling any of my lil’ shadowboxes for close to $300 each (whoa!), LeBlanc’s work offered me some inspiration nonetheless:

Inspired by stars in the night sky, an abstract galaxy of polished agate captures the strength of celestial sights.

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Adventures in Natureland: Exploring with Grim-Cat

 

After a stressful weekend away, I felt I needed a little “forest bathing” down the seasonal road near the Five Birch Perch. It didn’t take long before I realized I had a tail….with a tail! Grim-cat decided to join me on my journey, turning what would normally have been a quiet meditative walk into a playful photo session! See how many photos you can spot the “wild panther” in:

 

Get Outdoors: A Recap of the 2012 TILT KidsTreks

Now that my first summer with TILT is winding to a close, I thought I would post a quick recap of my favorite part – the KidsTreks! While only part of my job as Coordinator of Education & Outreach, developing, organizing and then experiencing the KidsTreks was a major highlight. The participants’ enthusiasm was infectious and the parents were happy for fun and informative (and free) activities for their kid(s) to do outdoors. All four KidsTreks were booked weeks before they began, which confirmed that there is a major need for this sort of thing along the river. I also got to stretch my graphic design muscles by designing four distinct activity booklets as a keepsake from each trek. I’m not going to show the whole booklets here (stay tuned for the upcoming TILTKids section on the TILT website…), I will show the cover and a sample page. So now, without further ado:

WEEK 1: Art from Nature at the Zenda Farm Preserve

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Get Outdoors: Technology Meets Nature

Maybe it’s the former advertising student in me, but this masterfully done commercial perfectly marries technology and nature – something I believe is the solution to the nature deficit disorder problem!

Get Outdoors: The Problem with Environmental Education

Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
Outdoors

 

Originally published in Orion magazine.

Look, Don’t Touch

The problem with environmental education
by David Sobel

THE KIDS HAVE BEEN UP since seven-thirty playing computer games and watching cartoons. What a travesty for them to be inside on such a beautiful day, you harrumph to yourself. On the refrigerator, you notice the schedule of events from the nearby nature center. “Let’s Get Face to Face with Flowers,” it beckons. Just the thing! It’s a sparkly May morning. Buds are bursting. There’s a warm breeze full of the aromatic scent of the woods just waking up.You trundle the kids into the minivan. They despondently consent. “Do we have to do a program? Programs are boring,” the older one complains. But as soon as you pull into the parking lot at Happy Hills Nature Center, their faces brighten. They fling the sliding door open and scamper down through the blossom-filled meadow to the shore of the pond. Ross, age seven, pulls off his sneakers and wades in, bent over searching for frogs. Amanda, age ten, plops down and starts making a dandelion tiara. What a good decision, you think to yourself.

Terri, the smiley naturalist wearing the official Happy Hills insigniaed staff shirt, saunters over. “Here for the flower program?” she chirps. “We’re meeting up in the Cozy Corner room to get started.”Ross asks, “Can Freddie come too?” holding up the fat green frog he has befriended.Terri’s bright face darkens a bit. “Sorry. Freddie needs to stay in the pond. Did you know the oils from your hands can make Freddie sick?” Continue reading

Communal Spirit: Your Vote Can Help Create a Nature Trail!

Dear Friends of F that S,

I’ve entered TILT in an online contest to win a $5,000 grant to help create a nature trail in our Otter Creek Preserve in Alexandria Bay, NY. The contest is sponsored by GOOD magazine and the voting period runs until August 3rd. So please vote here and then forward to anyone you think might be interested supporting land conservation and family nature outings!

Create a Nature Trail in the Otter Creek Preserve

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Get Outdoors! Summer Activity Jars

Spotted this classic idea over at Pacifiers and Fruit Loops: Summer Activity Jar! While the idea seems to be all over the mommy-blogs, a summer activity jar could work for “big kids” as well! In fact, you could make one for every season…

From Pacifiers and Fruit Loops

From Sweet Jack

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