Camping trips, field trips to botanical gardens, nature walks guided by park rangers, volunteer time at community gardens… For so many of us, spending time in nature has come to mean structured activities away from our homes. You can have some fun with the whole family by simply walking outside and taking a close look at the wondrous life that surrounds you.
Here are a few ideas for taking a nature walk close to home.
Whether you are in the suburbs, the city, or out in the country, look for ways that nature has adapted to you, the humans in their neighborhood. For instance, take a look at how this ant colony decided to make a go of it, regardless of the driveway on their land.
This tree didn’t let a silly utility pole stand in its way.
Another theme for your nature walk could be to identify the different kinds of animal life you see. Here is a cute little reptile I found just off the sidewalk close to my house.
I’ve found salamanders in my yard by just lifting a rock!
Before you start, you can make an easy checklist for animals to watch for and then add to it as you find more, such as:
Plants provide another wonderful world to examine on your nature walk. You can make a simple checklist to get started looking for a fun variety of finds such as:
__Leaves—all different shapes
So, don’t spend any more time reading. Step outside your door and starting counting nature’s endless delights. Don’t forget to take photos of your finds and you can start making a family journal of your nature walks close to home!
—Words & Photos by R.A. Kroft
R.A. Kroft writes about her day-to-day journey in living a smaller, more sustainable life and other topics that interest her.
This Site Was Inspired By An Interest in Protecting the Environment:
We had the privilege and joy of learning from Dr. Charlie Stine who instilled a love for the natural world through incredible field trips with the Johns Hopkins Odyssey Certificate program in Environmental Studies. At the time, the program was endorsed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sadly, after Dr. Stine retired, the program was phased out. We hope that we honor his legacy by shining a bright light on environmental issues and sharing good news about the success of various conservation programs when possible.
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