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10 Childlike Ways to Connect with Nature

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10 Childlike Ways to Connect with Nature

By Jeannie Patton, The Nature Conservancy

The little creek a half mile from my back porch has saved my sanity for years.

A small footpath parallels Coal Creek near my home in Lafayette, Colorado. There’s not much to the creek– born at 9,000 feet above sea level, it meanders through pine and spruce forest, across grasslands and through farm land, through two towns, and ends up in the South Platte River northwest of Denver.

When miners discovered seams of carbon along the creek’s course, it was nearly doomed. 1859 through 1956 were tough years; “manhandled” is an understatement. Yet the creek survived and is recovering nicely thanks to protected space rules and caring neighbors.

For years, I’ve walked a five-mile loop that leads to the next town over, usually stopping half way at Vic’s Coffee Shop to relax with a cup on the patio where the creek and path part ways.

I love this path & little creek, but realize that I’ve taken it for granted.

On my last coffee break, I thought of what Pulitzer Prize-winning author N. Scott Momaday wrote in The Way to Rainy Mountain:

“Once in our lives we ought to concentrate our minds upon the Remembered Earth. We ought to give ourselves up to a particular landscape in our experience, to look at it from as many angles as we can, to wonder about it, to dwell upon it. We ought to imagine that we touch it with our hands at every season and listen to the sounds that are made upon it.”

I returned home, downloaded The Nature Conservancy’s “Nature Treasure Hunt” (primer for four to seven year olds), printed out the Treasure Hunt checklist and returned to the creek. Like they say, begin simply, one foot in front of the other.

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4:57AM PDT on May 31, 2014


2:42AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

I used to be a nanny in the city to 2 children, and when I walked the elder child to primary school I would the take his sister to her nursery school up the road. On the way we had to pass the cemetery, and although not the first place you would think to take a child, it did work. We would sit awhile, picking daisies, which i would then make into necklace, bracelet and crown for her. While there we would watch the birds come and go, and sometimes even saw foxes. Then she would skip into her nursery, and be the envy of all the other little girls who wanted to come to the cemetery with us!

12:21AM PST on Feb 5, 2013


12:20AM PST on Feb 5, 2013


8:25AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

If there are ducks around, feed them. Remember to bring bread crumbs!

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Delightful as Nature is generally calming and tranquil. There is a lot of it only ten minutes away from where I live. Easy to be with and lose oneself in, getting away from a more hectic world even if it is a small town. So many things to see and do. Be gentle to the environment.

7:36AM PDT on May 23, 2012

I like to be childlike and connect with nature too! I take my kids camping or to my brother's farm so they can enjoy the outdoors like I did when I was a kid growing up in a small town. Can't beat it!

8:18AM PDT on May 22, 2012

I still love "playing" and I'm 65.
Remember "Peter Pan", and go for it

1:20PM PDT on May 21, 2012

Nature is healing.

1:44PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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