Dig in the Dirt

Martha McCormickOutdoors2 Comments

My Pondless Waterfall

Last week I rebuilt my “pondless waterfall” for the third time. I’ve lost the illusion that it’s the third and LAST time. Gardening is all about the process. A potential home buyer asked my friend if her garden was finished; that was a deal breaker. Here was a neophyte–a garden is never finished. My art teacher says the only true … Read

Keep Iowa Beautiful

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Kids at Krakow Castle

I’m working with Keep Iowa Beautiful and the Waste Commission of Scott County to provide educators with a program guide and resources for teaching… Service learning Litter free schools Character Environmental education …all organized around the Iowa Core and Common Core Standards. I’m using this post to run things by the Steering Committee, get reactions and involve them in pulling … Read

Enjoy Summer!

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It’s been just over 2 months since the first ever Iowa Outdoor Youth Summit; at least two young Iowans attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit and Festival in New York City, and summer is here with especially surprising weather. Here it is the 4th of July and summer officially half over. Impossible; my garden isn’t even all mulched! So far … Read

Speak Your Mind

Martha McCormickOutdoors, Social Justice1 Comment

Nature hike

Polk County Conservation is collecting input from the public about renovations for Yellow Banks Park in the southeast part of Polk County, and for Thomas Mitchell Park in Mitchellville, the eastern part of the county. You can fill out a survey here– Yellow Banks Park Survey Thomas Mitchell Park Survey …and you can see the survey results here– Yellow Banks … Read

Join the Movement

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Go outside! It’s spring, and Iowa is joining a broad based movement to renew a close, personal relationship with the out of doors. April 10-11–As part of Iowa’s “Reconnecting Children with Nature” effort, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Next Step are organizing the Iowa Outdoor Youth Summit. The goal of the event is to bring groups of youth … Read

Ride a Bike

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Sanibel Island Shells

I remember the first time I rode down the hill toward the city park after my dad took my training wheels off. Such a feeling of exhilaration and freedom! I still like to ride my bike, and that feeling has never gone away. I got back into cycling in 2008, and rode 110 miles of the MS 150 in eastern … Read

Embrace Winter

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

Birdhouse in winter

It’s been an especially cold winter in many places, but kids (and adults) can have fun and get healthy by going outside even in frigid, snowy weather. Each winter I resolve to renew my relationship with my skis, toboggan and ice skates. This winter looks like it might be a good time to keep that resolution! Ray Morley and his grandkids … Read

Find Refuge

Martha McCormickOutdoors2 Comments

I just applied to make my yard a certified wildlife habitat. I figured I might as well, since the deer have plucked my rosebuds one by one this summer and fall. Really, it’s a small step toward taking better care of the outdoors. I started the process about three years ago when a group of friends and I removed an … Read

Go Outside!

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

Last week my friend Anne and I built a “pondless waterfall” in my backyard. I had a great time digging in the dirt, getting muddy from top to toe and watching my little Tater cat explore the waterfall as it came into being. As I built it, I thought about my young friend Isaac playing in it when the weather … Read

Go Outdoors!

Martha McCormickOutdoors1 Comment

The naturalists at Polk County Conservation are some of my favorite people to work with. I’ve facilitated adventure education programs with them, canoed, and learned to use GPS in parks throughout Polk County. Some of the parks make you say, “I can’t believe this place is only 20 minutes from my house!” They work to make kids and adults more comfortable … Read