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!
In the IslandWood garden, we have many cycles. We have our soil-to-snack food cycle, our compost cycle, and even the cycle of our seasons. But one of our most important cycles, is the Stewardship cycle.
Happy Halloween from IslandWood!
Wow, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind!
The beautiful golden Big Leaf Maple leaves are starting to fall, the Alder branches are almost bare and there is a brisk chill in the air. Autumn is here and our first semester as graduate students is in full force.
What does a scientist look like? It’s a simple question that most people can quickly answer. I encourage you to think of a few words to describe a scientist before reading past this sentence.
What is one of the best ways to enjoy a rainy day in the garden? By drinking warm garden tea of course! Team Cloud enjoyed a fun afternoon in the garden tasting herbs and veggies and then deciding which plants would make the most delicious warm tea.
After just completing my first week of solo teaching, I know I made the right decision to come here to IslandWood. To be completely honest, the transition into graduate school has been challenging. Busy schedules, homework, very little free time... Moving to IslandWood has been an incredible lifestyle change for me, especially after spending the past year in Latin America where time moves quite a bit slower. Yet, after waving goodbye to my first round of students from the School Overnight Program on Thursday afternoon, I knew that my choice was worth it.
Inside these brown, decaying looking bean pods is something quite magical. And it is really fun to show our SOP kids the colorful surprise inside!
It's hard to believe that the first month of school, and of our School Overnight Program is complete! It's been a busy month at IslandWood and we are thrilled to have so many children in our garden. Here is a quick look at some of the fun we've been having.