Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dedicated to Connecting Children and Families to Nature

Image source Bendigo Advertiser

 "...what we do is a very simple concept but we really are at the forefront of the movement dedicated to connecting children and families with nature."  Reflects Nicole Howie, after attending the recent  Richard Louv Australia tour.

Nicole Howie, is just one of our  amazing volunteers - who also gives many unpaid hours to Northern Bendigo Landcare Group.

Nicole shares her other inspirational moments:

Richard spoke about those vivid and long-lasting memories from his childhood of a time spent in nature.  It may have been a simple thing like the feeling of laying down on cool grass in the warm sunshine or the smell of the bush after rain.  It may have been something more momentous like the sense of achievement when climbing a tree or reaching a hilltop.

Regardless of the memory – how long ago or how brief, it is these things that stay with us and can make the difference as we go through life as to whether we appreciate nature or not, choose to go for a walk in the park / bush rather than watch TV, influence how we encourage our own kids to ‘play’

I realised that it is very true for myself and my life with some of my best memories and ‘light bulb moments’ having happened in nature.   If we don’t give our kids opportunities and time / space / freedom to have these moments, they may not ever have them.  Surely not experiencing play in the bush will lead to a ‘poorer’ life.

Richard also spoke about what many of us lament – that a certain percentage of children these days, with their timetabled lives and the vast array of external / technological / portable / accessible stimuli, have lost the motivation and skill to engage in imaginative play.

We all remember times in our childhood fondly when we were immersed in a make-believe world or acted out real-life situations in a game of hospitals, shops, banks or mummies and daddies.  These weren’t just fun times – they were incredibly important times when we tried out ideas, connected concepts, built skills, gained confidence and interacted with friends.

“Play” is vital to children’s development and one of the best, unencumbered, vitalising places we can play is in the great outdoors.  Connecting kids with nature not only opens their eyes to the natural world but allows them to “play” in a safe, non-threatening environment away from the distractions of modern life.

You and your family can register for our next event, Walking the O'Keeth Trail Sunday 13 April 2014

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