Lessons for Fall

Rachel Krzton-PressonOutdoorsLeave a Comment

Sun on the lake

For many of us, buying new pencils, pumpkin spiced everything, football, and warm socks mark the beginning of fall! But for teachers autumn ushers in a wellspring of environmental education themes. Three topics are especially interesting this time of year–resilience, migration, and animals we love to hate.  Perhaps our strongest instinct is for self preservation. Even in the most difficult conditions, living … Read

Our Sunflower Fort

Sara LockieOutdoors1 Comment

Feet in the sunflower fort

My children love forts. But a sunflower fort? It exceeded every expectation. Inspired by Eve Bunting’s Sunflower House, we planted sunflower seeds in a circle last spring. My nine-year-old couldn’t decide on just one variety of sunflowers at the garden store, so we planted two circles of seeds – an inner ring of mammoths and an outer ring of a … Read

Alone on the Prairie

Rachel Krzton-PressonOutdoors1 Comment

Rachel alone on the prairie

Last week I packed my bags and headed on a vacation with my parents and siblings. Our destination was Lake Florida in Minnesota. While we were there we volunteered at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center! One of my projects was clearing trails around the prairie. Early in the morning, a little grumpy and weary from such an early start, I … Read

Experiencing the solar eclipse

Sara LockieOutdoors2 Comments

Sara at Alpha Mission Training

Monday, August 21, 2017 will be a memorable day.  Not since 1918 has a solar eclipse crossed the United States from the Pacific to Atlantic Oceans, giving us a rare opportunity to observe one of nature’s biggest coincidences. A few tips as the big day nears… Never look directly at the sun. Solar eclipse glasses block out everything except for … Read

Plan Ahead

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

Have you ever seen a hydrophone? Neither had I until I visited the Scripps Research Institute to learn about ocean studies. That’s the thing I’m holding in the picture at the top of this post. The researcher who gave us our tour studies whale audiology. If you’re looking for something to do, he needs help analyzing data from hours and … Read

Connect to Mother Earth

Martha McCormickOutdoors, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

I walked into the kitchen and had to squint. The morning sun was shining brightly through the door. It’s been a challenging winter; judging by the number of people walking and running outside yesterday, we’re ready for it to end. The cardinals, goldfinch and house finches are emptying my bird feeders again. I’m itching to get back into my garden—fantasizing … Read

Save the Earth

Martha McCormickOutdoorsLeave a Comment

It’s not hard to be in the moment when you’re at the beach. This morning we saw a dolphin, a wild one, close enough to be amazed at its size. They are REALLY big! Much bigger than they look on TV. It moved away from us but we continued to see its fin as it swam through the Gulf waters. … Read

Grow Your Own

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

I got a taste of farm life in Kyla’s backyard the other day, even though it’s in the heart of Des Moines. The ducks waddling around remind me of my parents’ tenure on our family farm in Missouri in the late 1970s. Their ducks made great pets until the snapping turtles in the pond rendered them extinct. Ducks are natural … Read

Feed the Birds

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

Backyard Stream

I thought dinosaurs were extinct, but guess what! I just found out birds are avian dinosaurs. COOL! I’m not that surprised; their fierceness reminds me of dinosaurs sometimes! A few weeks ago, we thought our little black cat might be about to catch a cardinal that was ground feeding by the house. Turned out she wasn’t the only one watching … Read