Many people deepen their connection to nature by enjoying a nature education class or participating in a volunteer opportunity. These types of experiences provide guided introductions, group camaraderie and opportunities to learn something new about plants, wildlife, or history in the region’s parks, trails, natural areas and historic cemeteries.
During the COVID-19 crisis, many of these experiences are still available virtually or from a safe distance. Nature educators have created a suite of activities, including nature education videos and activities that can be done at home or in a local park.
Throughout the year, Metro’s nature educators help students of all ages discover nature close to home. From field trips to the ancient forest at Oxbow Regional Park to twilight hikes at Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area to mushroom hunts and campfire demonstrations, there’s no single way to connect with the outside world.
Recently, Metro has developed a new approach to its community nature activities. Working with communities of color, Metro co-creates culturally specific and relevant education and stewardship activities. Through hands-on activities like planting and caring for trees and native plants, understanding invasive species, community science projects and plant gatherings, these experiences provide opportunities to connect to each other, build reciprocal relationships with the land, create a sense of belonging and learn about plants, wildlife, and history in the region’s parks, trails, natural areas and historic cemeteries.