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Earth Day: How to Enjoy Nature Responsibly"

Each of you reading this already knows we encourage outdoor play and learning but, how can we do this while also teaching explorers respect for the environment around them?

We don't have many rules at Willowdale but respect and gratitude for others and nature are absolutely two of them and when we invite explorers to play and learn in nature, we are inherently practicing these critical skills. While this takes time and as with anything, there is a learning curve, when we are able to play outside every day, we can nurture responsible nature play in our young explorers that will guide them to become an advocate for earth. I'm grateful for Emily Woodmansee for sharing some of these ideas with us during the Level I Forest School Teacher Certification.

Practicing gratitude and consent when collecting nature treasures. This may sound loopy but a simple, "hey maple tree, may I harvest some sap from you?" is a fun (and explorers will find it funny) way to express our appreciation for all that Mother Earth offers us.

Rule of 10. When foraging for nature treasures, pick 1 per group of 10. Selecting 1 dandelion from a group of 10 ensures we can still learn from that special pick but that we also leave some for pollinators, birds and other creatures to thrive on.

Identification. Make sure you are 100% what something is before picking it. Explorers may not know but we can help them learn by naming the items they want to pick. This ensures safety for you and the planet as there are toxic plants that could harm us.

Take in what you take out. A simple rule, ate some snacks on the trail? Take the trash home with you.

Pick up trash. When feasible, plan ahead and bring a trash bag with you to the park or trail. Bringing a grabber for kids to use is easy for them but I prefer garden gloves for myself.

Use recyclables to make art. Instead of recycling everything, set some aside for kids to use as loose parts in their art space. We also love this concept from EcoBricks and we are excited to learn more about them!

Celebrate Earth Day with us!

Join us Saturday, April 20 at Stark Park for their Earth Day Clean Up! This is hosted by the Friends of Stark Park and all are welcome to join. You can register for free here.

Attend our April Pop-up! We'll learn about pollinators found in NH and go to the "market" to collect all we need to plant petite pollinator gardens explorers can take home. Register here!

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

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