In early September, we were given a tourist test in our Natural History and Ecology class. It was a simple test, and it succeeded in opening our eyes to our lack of knowledge of our natural surroundings.
Take the test for yourself to see what you know:
Why would community building matter for education?
Nature is a bridge that brings people from all backgrounds together.
I'm an amateur photographer - the key word being "amateur." Having spent a fair amount of time staring through a lens, I respect how much a good image can ignite emotions. This short piece really moved me. In just two minutes...it speaks to nature's power, beauty, and diversity.
Thankfully, the weather has warmed back up for our last teaching week this quarter! Winter certainly paid us all a visit a few weeks ago. It was freezing! The students and instructors were champions though (thank you gear volunteers) and it was exciting to see the landscape change so dramatically with the cold weather. The frost filled mornings and icy evenings were spectacular!
Recently, we conducted our annual staff training on how to use an automatic external defibrillator (AED). The exercise was led by Ray Cramer, a member of our team who is an EMT.
As I settled back into my cabin in the woods yesterday, I took a few moments to reflect on what I am grateful for. My family and friends, the hug from my roommate, my Natural History class, the kale growing in the garden, the crisp sunshine sparkling on the frosty grass outside my door …
An amazing thing has happened in our IslandWood greenhouse! Where we once had rotting garden boxes that were leaking soil and water, we now have lovely and strong NEW garden boxes. We also have a new irrigation system, and a freshly cleaned and organized space. With the help of our overnight students, we even have newly planted indoor winter crops. The greenhouse has been transformed! And it will host many children this season as we move into Winter garden lessons.
A small team of children come running toward their instructor as a response to his coyote call, and once they all reach him, they lift their heads to the sky to deliver a group howl.
While on a hike with my three-year old last year, my mind kept wandering to work. I was missing the beauty of nature around me and I wasn't at all present with my son.
Hi everyone, my name is Martin LeBlanc and I am leading our External Affairs efforts at IslandWood. External Affairs is building diverse partnerships with non-profits, government and business and leading advocacy efforts both here locally and in Washington DC to make sure that we can get every child a special place in nature. This is important because sadly more and more kids aren’t getting outside and it affects their health, educational skills and it hurts our communities. We can’t do it alone and by working with dynamic partners we can make sure every kid gets a chance to get outside and play.
Living in the woods, it is easy to forget about rampant consumerism that takes hold of our country this time of year. There are no TVs, strip malls, or huge chain stores plastered with ads and bright lights. Instead, I know that November is upon us because of the chill in the air, the early sunset, the apple cider and the piles of leaves that I shuffle through on my daily walk to class.
Think about chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. What immediately filled your senses when you read the previous statement? I thought of warm cookies full of delicious gooey chocolate chips flavoring the house with the scent of sweet brown sugar. Now, imagine you’re at a crowded party with dozens of people talking around you. The noise is loud enough to require a raised voice when speaking to the person next to you. Would you be able to hear the voice of a close relative or spouse from across the room? Our senses are powerful tools used daily as we journey through life.
Fall is a wonderful time to roast vegetables! And the garden is a perfect place to find delicious vegetables to roast and eat. Kids from Lincoln and Northgate Elementary Schools were able to harvest some pumpkins and squash, leeks, carrots, beets, and potatoes and make a tasty snack. Here is the recipe!