Blog for Connecting to Nature

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A question arose as I watched two interpreters provide a lesson for two-year-old children in a park somewhere in the US. One of those children was my youngest grandson, a typical two year old who loves to explore. From that experience I posed in my mind the following question: Is Any EE Better Than Nothing?

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NAAEE is pleased to announce that the search for the 2018 EE 30 Under 30 is now open (May 1 - June 11, 2018)! In partnership with the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP), and U.S. Forest Service, the EE 30 Under 30 program is searching for individuals from around the world, 30 years of age or younger, who are leaders in their communities creating change through environmental education.

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Guest blogger Dan Kriesberg shares an essay reflecting on the importance of outdoor education and effective teaching learned over 30 years of being in the field. Dan is a science teacher at Friends Academy (NY). He also is the author of "A Sense of Place: Teaching Children about the Environment with Picture Books" and "Think Green, Take Action: Books and Activities for Kids."

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This poem created by a nine year old demonstrates the value of nature when it is nurtured by a family that makes an effort to make connections. Lily's Mom writes: "EE does a good job of incorporating the arts...[using] the creative part of our brain to help the logical part remember the facts."

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In the series of how nature impacts us, Marghanita Hughes has a perspective that brings to the fore the importance of the arts as a vehicle for looking at nature and creating a place for art. Oft times in our trying to partition academic disciplines, we leave the arts as an aside. It is integral and is essential. One cannot separate it any more than we can separate hearing and seeing, they interconnect. When we love something, we want to know more about it, we are more inclined to protect it because it has value. So it is with nature and how the arts can make us more connected to our environment. As Marghanita says: "Life is truly beautiful....what is loved will survive...we protect what we love!"

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What does nature mean to you? How does it impact you? Each of us sees it and feels differently yet profoundly. I asked Richard Louv author of many books, the first of note was Last Child in the Woods., to share what came to his mind about the impact of nature upon him. He most graciously consented to provide his thoughts.

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This is a part of the series for Connecting to Nature. The question that has been posed is: How does nature impact you. Each person who has shared has provided their feelings about this on a personal basis. Joseph Bharat Cornell is noted in the field and has been contributing for a long time. Listen to what he has to say and I ask after you have done this, share with our blog how nature has impacted you.

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Asking the question of persons involved in environmental education, how has nature impacted you personally, I posed this question to a stellar sustainability educator in Western Austria. Ing, Bertram Meusburger is not only an educator but was involved in the arts/dance. His work and passion is helping immigrants from Syria and other countries who have come to Bregenz Austria.

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Are you a 501(c)(3) organization in the United States or Canada helping K-12 students use innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) curricula to solve real-world environmental problems? UL and the North American Association for Environmental Education invite you to apply for Year 4 of the UL Innovative Education Award for a chance to win up to $100,000 for your organization!