“Children come alive in such exciting ways when surrounded by experiences offered in the beauty and colors of nature’s rhythms. ”
Growing up in San Francisco, Nancy explored nature’s nearby forests, rivers, mountains, and ocean shores of Northern California. Her studies in anthropology and psychology led to her understanding of nature’s healing power and her work as a psychotherapist. In addition, she’s the co-author of two books, “Meet Me at the Salish Sea” and “Explore with Me at the Salish Sea.” Check out our conversation with Nancy below to learn more about how she first became involved with IslandWood, how her granddaughter inspired her poetry, and her hope that more schools will bring their students to IslandWood.
How did you first get to know IslandWood, and how have you been involved since?
My first wonderful exposure to IslandWood was attending a lecture by poet David Whyte a few years ago. His presentation was inspiring, as were the valuable messages offered through the grounds, messages, and structures of IslandWood.
Why did you choose to support IslandWood?
I’ve chosen to support IslandWood because it reminds me of another environmental education institution in Los Altos Hills, California called Hidden Villa. I was a volunteer teacher there educating local youth and students from all over the Bay Area. Children “come alive” in such exciting ways when surrounded by experiences offered in the beauty and colors of nature’s rhythms. Psychologist Howard Garden identified 12 modes of learning available at IslandWood. When I worked as a psychologist, taking adults and children on nature walks proved to be healing and inspiring on so many levels.
Can you tell us a little about your books, Meet Me at the Salish Sea and Explore with Me at the Salish Sea?
Meet Me at the Salish Sea and Explore with Me at the Salish Sea offer all ages — and especially children ages 5 – 12, poetry and beautiful illustrations of environments, creatures, and processes of land, water, and sky. The poems began when I held my baby granddaughter in my arms as she slept near the singing waters of Puget Sound! The books are in some Puget Sound school curriculums now which is very exciting for me as the poet and Jared Noury (also a Bainbridge resident) as the illustrator; he’s self-taught which is amazing once you see his exquisite work! Both books are scientifically accurate and contain a glossary plus resource section for further studies. They can be found at BIMA, Bay Hay & Feed, Bloedel Reserve, Eagle Harbor Book Store, and summer Farmers’ Markets.
What’s your favorite IslandWood memory?
A favorite IslandWood memory was a couple years ago spending the day with my five grandchildren hiking — exploring, wondering, and learning. IslandWood’s style is relaxing, welcoming and informative on so many memorable levels.
What are you hopes for IslandWood in the years to come?
My hopes for IslandWood would be that more know about it. As with Hidden Villa, IslandWood welcomes groups from all over Puget Sound, so important for the development of our next generation! Our world needs your work so much! Thank you IslandWood!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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