Tampa Bay Informer - National News
Wednesday, 22 April 2009 19:42

The Nature Conservancy Celebrates Earth Day

 Jeff Danter. Photo by Eric Blackmore  
 Jeff Danter. Photo by Eric Blackmore  
Arlington, VA (April 22, 2009) - On a glorious sunny Florida day this past weekend, as a gentle breeze swayed the pines and a swallow-tailed kite glided overhead, I watched my seven-year-old son and his close friend ignore me at every opportunity. We were visiting a Nature Conservancy preserve and I was telling them, in my best child-friendly professorial voice, all about the importance to the ecosystem of gopher tortoise burrows and how prescribed fire had prepared the land for the reintroduction of red-cockaded woodpeckers.
At least they were polite as they ran from tree to rock to stick, my words passing through their ears almost unnoticed. Watching them, it dawned on me that just being outdoors is the lesson. No teaching required. Kids learn from the act of discovering nature, the experience, not the words. And they just aren’t getting enough opportunity to have that experience today.
Published in National News

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