Learning something everyday...
This job has been such an amazing opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and connect....usually around nature. I wanted to share my gratitude about some of the cool things I learn everyday, as well as general gratitude about another trip around the sun, helping people connect to nature. Maybe something will inspire you, too.
School capital bond programs
After 6 years of partnerships, we are wrapping up the Bond Program projects for both Vancouver and Evergreen Schools. I am forever grateful to those leaders who took the time and energy to support a different look to campus design, full of nature. These boxes are a partnership with Hudson's Bay HS. Yeah
Still stalking birds
An illness many moons ago had me sitting for several weeks, so I had no choice but learned about birds. Lots of birds. I am now using this passion to learn about local and migratory species. I will stop mid-sentence to notice birds. How can you not!?!? :)
The joys of the seasons
After a winter long of yet more COVID in our house, long nights, longer days, one can't help be joyful for the first blooms of spring. The migration of birds and chirp of frogs through our nature patch sing through the occasional open window. As long as winter is, spring always rejuvenates. So grateful
This is the first summer since our kids were born that we did NOT camp.....at all. For many reasons, but it tears a little at the heart. Luckily, there is lots of nearby nature for short jaunts into beauty for amazing sunsets, tall flowers, songs of katydids and laughter with family.
Wrapping up 2022
This has been one of the hardest years on so many fronts, that learning the art, science and nuances of change has been a steady journey of learning this year. Luckily, I have those around me to help. This little lady joins me everyday outside my kitchen window as I work. She reminds me to take breaks and enjoy.
The senses of autumn
Everything about fall is magically. Trees have done their job and allow themselves to rest, right on cue. Good reminder. And as they do, the color explosion, the smells, the crunching sounds, the crisp morning air.....yep, just magical. No wonder my favorites colors tend to come from this season.
The art of stillness
With the utter chaos of pandemic balance, it was time to slow it down and change perspectives. Sitting on a beach listening to the waves is magical. To let the stress of the year melt away is never easy. But is worth trying.
I stalk birds.....I do
Come November every year there is a transition in our local park. From beach going, volleyball and picnicking humans to the sounds of nature. Every year, I spend probably too much time, waiting to hear the sounds of thousands of snow geese lift at once. If you have not heard it, please take the time. Frenchman's Bar is good.
I do.....I love pollinators
My 10 minute nature breaks involve me wandering the yard looking for bugs. I do. As steward of this little property, I am fascinated with amount of life in our little patches of gardens and native habitat. I am grateful for all of the hard work these critters do to make our food and keep life going on!
Youth.....they inspire me
We had a chance to connect with this bunk of lovelies this summer and spent tons of time outside in nature. Touring Big Sky, walks in the Bridgers, spike ball in the yard, sunset Pickleball and guitar serenades at dusk. Love them all to the moon and back and love their energy!
Thanks to the people who make magic
I am forever grateful for all of the contractors that I have worked with over the years. Their expertise in their craft teaches me something with every project. I appreciate all of the lessons they have taught me. I have the easy job to draw ideas up.....they make it magic.
January 30, 2021
Year end review - taxes & joy
I admit, I am not a fan of pulling together tax stuff. But I do enjoy looking through all of the work over the past year. Even though our whole world was upside down, I am so grateful for my clients and colleagues, family and friends and all of the great adventures in nature. Every year, I learn so much and am grateful for all of the opportunities to support our schools, community and kids. Thank you to my clients who make the world a better place.
Another trip around the sun
So many great things about February. I made another trip around the sun, we had snow for my birthday and celebrated another anniversary. I spent lots of great time with my family, counted birds for Cornell, and made some new recipes. Yes, always grateful to see another February. They are different every year.
March 12, 2021
Light at the end of the tunnel
What a year it has been. One year ago, I started keeping my kids home waiting to see where the pandemic will take us. What an honor it was to help one school plan a moving restart on the 1-year anniversary. EPS Illahee ES planted 19 new trees on their campus. A new fresh start to the school year....for shade, learning, color and joy! (Photo: EPS)
December 9, 2020
Changing the world for birds
If you know me, you know that I will stop mid-sentence to notice birds (geese flock overhead, the sound of a nearby nuthatch, glimmer of yellow of the warble hiding in the bush). So grateful for partners that have programs to educate about birds and habitat. CLT & Portland Audubon
"Easily distracted by birds"=me
December 6, 2020
Donors who give their land
Many of the lands that my family and I like to hike were generously donated to be protected for generations to come. Thank goodness for the people who are protectors of the natural areas. Betty Swanson, pictured here, was a gem in our community and forever shares her 33 acres with all of us. The barn owls are grateful, too.
December 1, 2020
Gratitude for all the critters
I have always been drawn to animals and love to share my joy with students and families out on the trails and forests. So much to learn and see. Even at home, our pets bring so much joy.
So, here is to Nattie, the matron of the house.
November 7, 2020
Mentors from Univ. of Michigan
Maybe it is the fall air with Thanksgiving on the horizon, but I can't help but remember all of the valuable lessons these two professors taught me. I had a lot of great and impactful experiences in grad school, but Rachel Kaplan and Terry Brown set my course for the work I do today.
November 11, 2020
Thanking our veterans
Growing up in a military family, we learned first hand that freedom is not free. Thank you to all of the veterans and those who currently serve. This is the sketch used for my dad's enshrinement into the MIchigan Aviation Hall of Fame, shortly after he passed in 1999.
November 13, 2020
Kids still want to climb trees
I know that it is not allowed on playgrounds and in many parks, but I am so grateful that we have trees around that kids can climb. They want to climb. We adults need to stand back and let them climb. This maple has hosted many kiddos in the last 15 years. Thank goodness!
October 1, 2020
John Muir Laws...a new perspective
It reminds me of
Wow....I took an online course from this amazing teacher and it has really changed my thinking to environmental education and GOSY projects. If you work with kids, get a sketch book, watercolors and some pens......go check it out! Thank you!!!
October 21, 2020
New visioning takes shape
After so many years of working with partners from the Intertwine Alliance and around Clark County, we are about to embark on a new journey with the CCNN. So grateful for all of the partnerships and leaders over the years. Thanks Mesha and Josie for having faith in me to help lead the way!
October 30, 2020
Old fashion thank you notes...
I was taught from a young age to be grateful (hence this page). After a crazy year and many projects are wrapping up, I make sure to find time to thank those who have partnered to get amazing projects in the ground. Some might be a little late, but I am so grateful for the leadership, support and partnership to connect kids to nature.
September 22-23, 2020
Children & Nature Network!
It was truly an honor to support the C&NN Greening of Schoolyard partners at last week's leadership summit. While it is always amazing to meet and chat throughout the conference, I was grateful that we could still meet online. Truly amazing GOSY work going on around the world!
September 26, 2020
Grand openings of new spaces
So when a new project opens to the public, I am pretty stoked to take my kids and check it out. While at EPS Emerald ES, lots of kids ran to the nature play with big smiles...cool, right? Well, it really made my day with this cute pup also enjoyed hopping up and over the logs. Go Roxy!
September 27, 2020
Nature play is everywhere...
If you are patient and look hard enough. My 8 year sees EVERYTHING. How in the heck he saw this praying mantis in the mint, I don't know. And then he found the male too. So awesome! I want to say I walk the walk with my kids everyday, but some days more than others. This was cool!
August 19, 2020
Webinar series for CCNN
Well, the amazing partners for the Clark County Nature Network have pulled together a great webinar series to connect schools to learning on their campuses. We have talked about this for years! So grateful to all of the presenters who donate their time and expertise to share their knowledge.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the largest charette in my career. I worked with GOSY colleagues from around the world to help pull together pages for the Infrastructure section of the new GOSY COVID-19 response program. Thanks to Sharon, Claire and Nancy!
September 4, 2020
Learning from Craftsmen/women
Every time I enter a construction site, my first thought after safety is "be ready to learn." I always look forward to conversations with contractors on what worked, what didn't, what would help them in the future....etc. I sure do appreciate learning from contractors with 10, 20, 30 years of experience!
July 22, 2020
During an interview today with the garden coordinator, I learned about so many great program ideas, such as this home garden kit. Complete with seeds on paper to plant and grow. She learned from a dear colleague in Battle Ground. Brilliant!
July 23, 2020
Back to school during COVID
Super excited to partner with GOSY professionals around the country to help create guidelines for creating safe outdoor spaces for students headed back to school. US did it in 1915, as this Library of Congress image shows.....we can do it again.
July 24, 2020
Inspiring conversation with local scouting partners who want to help build features at schools. From landscape projects to enhance beauty, to outdoor classrooms like this one built by an Eagle Scout at Camas Woodburn ES. Thanks partners!