I signed up for the 30×30 Nature Challenge and I have to say that I am enjoying it so far. All you have to do is commit to spending 30 minutes outside in nature for 30 days. The challenge makes it as easy as sitting outside and reading a book but I have been trying to immerse myself in nature a bit further than my backyard.
My first day involved a very long walk by a river (I actually spent almost all day outdoors so was way over my 30 minutes). The second day was a quick exploration of some trees down the road from us (we found tons of deer tracks and what I think is a raccoon track). The third day involved a walk with my kids through the woods near another river, plus we set up the badminton set in the yard and hit the birdie back and forth for a bit.
Today involved a walk in the woodlot near a pond and stream. We saw a snake, I showed my kids how to identify spruce, fir and pine trees and the youngest got one very wet sock and sneaker due to a mis-step while jumping over the stream :).
Our little excursions have made me realize how much time I spent in nature as a kid and how little my own kids spend outside.
As a kid, we built camps in nearby woods and stayed out all day playing with friends. My kids barely know any kids in our neighbourhood and are not known to be great explorers. We went camping almost every weekend in the summers, rain or shine. My kids are lucky to camp once or twice a summer. One saving grace is that my sister lives in the boonies so when we visit there (at least 6 times/ yr) my kids are off with their cousins doing all those things that my friends and I used to do.
I’m sure not all of my 30 days will involve great new explorations but as long as some of them do it is a worthwhile effort. Nature calms us and renews us and we need to take advantage of it whenever possible. And exposing my kids to more of the benefits of nature is a positive thing for all of us.