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Got Nature? An Earth Month RX

April 5, 2016

Do YOU need nature? I bet you do!

What better time to discover if NATURE is for YOU than this April, during Earth Month?

As the commercial above shows, getting out in NATURE is not only good for you, but it’s easy! Nature is just right outside our doors and all we have to do is put our media devices down in order to enjoy NATURE.

Even better NATURE IS FREE!

There are endless ways to enjoy NATURE including attending a transformational festival camping out in nature like I will be doing this weekend at Lucidity.

This semester, I have taken my students outside as often as possible, and we have ventured off campus too on field trips to Art City and Bell Arts Factory.

Today we are going to Ventura’s  Color Garden (located on Poli at Chestnut just up the hill form the Starbucks on Main by the movie theater).  There we will have speakers on researching and writing for environmental problem solving and presentation about Theodora Burr Shepherd. Next we will walk through the Ventura Botanic Garden behind City Hall (Poli at Chestnut). All are welcome to join us! As the parking lot by the Color Garden can fill, consider parking in the City Hall lot by the Botanic Garden.

This semester, we have also studied Nature Deficit Disorder, and several students are taking this problem on for their problem-solution research papers. Which brings me to the video below that compares and contrasts childhood experiences with nature in the US with this elf children in Europe:

This video uses material from this article “Kids Gone Wild.” The article is totally worth reading and it’s also worth watching the 20 minute video that goes with the article.

A shorter but similar video looks at a playground in England that is very different than the ones we have here in the US.

In The Atlantic, on March 19, 2014, Hanna Rosin writes about “The Overprotected Kid”arguing that “[a] preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.” Her arguments are in line and yet with more sophistication develop Richard Louv’s arguments about nature deficit-disorder that he makes in his two books, Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle. (Be sure to check out the short video!) http://bcove.me/5899qdu4

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Read more about Earth Month ideas and research materials here.

One way to get started on a more Earth friendly path is to volunteer.

FoodShareLogo_Color-2015

Food Share and Food Forward are two really great organizations that I encourage students to work with: Food Forward rescues fresh local produce that would otherwise go to waste, connecting this abundance with people in need, and inspiring others to do the same.

Surfrider is another local organization –and they are having a volunteer orientation TONIGHT:

Have you been thinking about volunteering with Surfrider, but don’t know where to start? Have you gone to a beach cleanup and want to know more about the Surfrider Foundation, what else we do and how you can get more involved?

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If you answered yes, then head to the Core Volunteer Orientation tonight 6:30pm at Patagonia 259 W Santa Clara St, Ventura, California 93001.

Core Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization. They often go on to leadership positions within our chapter and help set our chapter’s strategy. This training will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to be a Surfrider ambassador.

The April chapter meeting at Patagonia will feature the next Core Volunteer Orientation. (Patagonia – Great Pacific Iron Works is located at 235 W. Santa Clara Street, Ventura, CA 93001) Food and beverages will be provided. Attendees will also receive a Surfrider Foundation t-shirt!

Come out to learn more about helping with:
Ocean Friendly Gardens
Ocean Friendly Restaurants
YES on the CA Plastic Bag Ban
Beach Cleanups
Surfer’s Point / Matilija
Representing Surfrider at community events
Other needs such as video and photo

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