No, we are not talking about crazy teenagers - "Wildlife in the City" is the title of a program that will launch in Nottingham, England, next month. It's a collaboration between Nottingham city council and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, that will focus on 10 groups within the city failing to make use of their local green spaces, and with a poor understanding of how to do so.
In these times of diminished science classes in our nation's elementary schools, I was thrilled to discover the project Rangers in the Classroom when I visited my ranger son in Sequoia National Park last week.
The program helps introduce Sequoia and Kings Canyon to students in some of the most economically deprived schools in California - not to mention some of the most nature deprived students in the state, I suspect.
In an earlier blog, I wrote about how worried parents can get about letting their children even go outside, let alone be out of view. I've had many conversations with parents who are truly concerned about "stranger danger" and thus unwilling to let go of their young ones.
Now the Children and Nature Network has come up the the notion of "Hummingbird Parents" and seven actions parents can take to reduce risk and still get their kids outside.
Last Saturday I got to see something I'd never seen before: two bull elk locking antlers and going at it. All to determine who would get the 50+ harem who barely even bothered to turn their heads and see what was going on!
It was an amazing sight (too bad the photo is a bit blurry, but you get the idea).
This is a tip from my book, Get Out! 150 Easy Ways for Kids and Grown-Ups to Get into Nature and Build a Greener Future (Free Spirit, 2009). I'm adding it into my blog here because so many people have commented on how much they liked the idea!
The latest survey on children getting outside in Britain came up with some interesting beliefs:
* Cows hibernate in winter
* Conkers come from oak (or maybe beech, or is it fir?) trees
* No leaf can soothe a nettle sting.
Last week I wrote about a new trend amongst pediatricians, to prescribe play and family activities for children who are overweight and just don't move around enough. That's right - not just advice on leading a healthy lifestyle, but actually an Rx, written in that illegible doctor handwriting.
Here's an interesting study just published by the Royal Horticultural Society in Britain, about the positive effects of making gardening a part of every child's school curriculum.
It's a fascinating, but long, report - so here's the link:
Doctors in Portland, Oregon are prescribing fun and family-friendly activity for some children who are overweight or who move around too little.