What do I love about nature? The calm it gives me? The complex network of interactions and food webs? The excited look in a child's eye as they hold a worm or discover baby pill bugs?
My fourth graders have been studying detrivores and trees, from rotting logs up to the tallest habitats. This week, they imagined they were shrunk down to the size of a shrew, then a millipede, then got to soar as a bird through an activity in the Project Learning Tree Environmental Education Activity Guide. We then drew, colored, and cut out animals that are part of that food web. In May, all three 4th grade classes will take a bus to a manged forest as part of the Wheels to Woods grant I succeeded in getting for our school through RIEEA. They are very excited!
I hope their love of the tiny and the tall leads them to protect these habitats when they are able to act as adults, through legislation, running for office, voting, participating in clean ups, and supporting environmental agencies.
Meanwhile, I will continue to teach them, continue to work on my field guide, continue to love all of this.
There is a fundraiser March 3rd to support publication of a field guide, supplies, perhaps even non-profit status! It will be moved to the Mediator, at 50 Rounds Ave. Providence, RI, from 6-10. We'll still have live music and games, but home-made snacks instead of a sit-down dinner. (Ticket sales were too low to have it a Twelve Acres. There goes my deposit...) We also have a GoFundMe page here.