The Madison Public Library Naturalist-in-Residence encouraged our community to explore, learn and reflect upon the natural world through accessible nature-based experiences guided by a local naturalist.
According to America Walks, “good health is not the only benefit of walking. In fact, there is a broad range of individual and community benefits that accrue when people walk more often and when communities are designed to make walking safe, enjoyable and convenient.” The benefits include safe neighborhoods, healthy communities, social equity, environmental sustainability and even improved economies.
As libraries become centers of community-based lifelong learning, they seek more opportunities to enhance access to natural spaces located in the communities they serve. The nonprofit Children & Nature Network (C&NN) helps librarians find the partners and resources they need to understand how and why to connect children and families to nature. C&NN also helps potential partners understand the impacts that can derive from working with libraries.
For public libraries and community partners across North America, February is prime time for gardening programs. There are many types of gardening programs you can offer, and many partners you can work with to develop them.
A quick survey of the gardening programs being offering this February and March in North America reveals that libraries are offering:
Once a week in summer months, we have a program for kids in the small courtyard just outside of our youth department. The program, called Nature Play, is extremely popular with young children between the ages of 2 and 5 and their caregivers. It’s all about letting kids get outside with supplies and providing activities for exploring natural elements (like sand, water and dirt) — and, of course, getting a bit dirty in the process.
Earth Day may have already passed, but there are so many ways to celebrate and show respect for our planet throughout the year. Check out Billion of Acts of Green, a worldwide enviromental movement that is helping to protect the Earth for future generations. Their site has a ton of great resources and ideas to help you take action all year long, like using a sustainable mode of transportation for your commute to work.