Sagan Brosius observing a pair of Common Yellowthroats at Bath Nature Preserve on June 22, 2019.
Passing the Torch: Encouraging the Next Generation of Conservationists
By Michelle Brosius
The title may sound noble, but enjoying the natural world with your children and grandchildren not only instills in them a love for nature, but also allows us to spend quality time with them and to share something of ourselves. My love for nature was nurtured as a child by my father, who would take my younger brother and me to enjoy the various parks that could be found within Lake and Geauga counties in the 1980s. I remember wandering along with him every weekend in search of our next woodland adventure. The key word is exposure. Expose children to nature on a consistent basis and love for it will follow. We protect that which we love.
Fast forward to seven years ago when I had my first child. How, oh how, am I going to grow this young person into a conservationist? Five years ago when I had my second child I asked the same question, not realizing I was doing what needed to be done all along—getting them out of the house. Outside. Following are some simple tips I have learned along the way:
This is by no means an exhaustive list of tips, but I’ve covered some big ones that I feel may be more easily overlooked. My tips may work for you and your children or grandchildren, or they may not. I’m interested to hear your tips to engage children with nature. What has worked for you? Please leave a comment!
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