When the weather becomes warmer and the ice melts from hiking trails, we find that schools start itching to get their students moving outdoors. When Beals Elementary School principal Chris Crowley reached out to us this spring asking for a hiking-focused field trip for his 5th-8th graders, we thought we could incorporate a service project at the same time. The Great Wass Island Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy, has a beautiful shoreline that, unfortunately, becomes strewn with trash that washes in from the ocean (primarily bleach and beverage bottles and fishing gear). Given that this preserve is located quite close to Beals Elementary School, it provided an ideal place to get moving outdoors and make it cleaner for the next time people hike there.
While it had been just three months since these students at Milbridge Elementary experienced a Maine Outdoor School program (to learn about that day, check out the article about it here), their schoolyard sure had changed. No longer wearing winter boots, hats, and mittens, these 5th-graders were prepared with shorts and t-shirts during this early June 2017 program.
This evening the Electoral College cast their votes to finalize the 45th President of the United States. While roughly 46% of the citizens of our country are breathing a sigh of relief, the remaining 54% are somewhere between disappointed and horrified. Wherever you fall on this reactionary spectrum, here are three quick steps to keep moving forward with your own vision of a resilient future.
As the fiery leaves of autumn linger, drop, and are replaced with hard frosts and dustings of snow, out in the midwest of our country indigenous peoples of the world and their allies have been peacefully rallying together to defend the environment on which we all depend. As the days grew colder, the tension rose. When such conflicts seem worlds apart geographically, it can be hard to figure out one’s own place in such a struggle. That isn’t so this fall for a handful of youth near the easternmost point of our country, over 2000 miles from Standing Rock.