Our corner of the world in the majestic Inland Northwest is not only beautiful but features many treasures of habitat and wildlife, streams and rivers flush with vibrant fisheries, and diverse landscapes from the scablands to the mountains. Connecting people with this land is the greatest way for them to gain an appreciation for this special place we call home. INLC’s “Grounded in Nature” program will connect our community with the land by offering a wide variety of events to get people outside and in touch with nature.
Everyone deserves to live in a healthy community and enjoy a connection with nature. Today’s society is losing its understanding of the importance of nature and the outdoors. Children spend more time with computer games and simulations than with the outdoors and real adventure, a condition referred to as Nature-Deficit Disorder. INLC believes it is imperative for our people to be connected to nature and the outdoors in new and rewarding ways. “Grounded in Nature” directly addresses that community need. Our goal is to go back to the basics to introduce, and reintroduce, the community to nature – getting their fingers in the dirt, running through open fields, hiking trails, and exploring our streams and rivers.
By introducing more people to nature, we improve the quality of life — and in turn, we gain broader support for conservation. Many Americans are growing up without a strong connection to nature — and if they don’t learn to love it, they won’t act to save it. To conserve the land, we need people who care about the land. If nature is not protected today, future generations will be denied the opportunity to experience nature as we are fortunate to be able to do today.
“Grounded in Nature” is an educational program addressing Nature-Deficit Disorder across diverse sections of our community. It will link nature and land preservation with the many outdoor activities. The program will engage grade, middle and high-school students – introducing them to multiple activities in nature, understanding and exploring our natural ecosystems, recreational opportunities and the great outdoors. The program will also provide opportunities for adults of all ages to be engaged in varied ways to what the region has to provide.
In working with local school districts our “Grounded in Nature” curriculum will be directly aligned with local, state and national standards. Our programs will be using tools and ideas drawn from WILD, WET and the Children in Nature Network.
“Grounded in Nature” will include a wide variety of events designed to appeal to diverse sectors of our community - from elementary school children to senior citizens. Events we are currently pursuing include:
• Outdoor photography
• Foraging for mushrooms and/or wild edibles
• Cycling (road and dirt)
• Local harvest followed by a cooking class
• Outdoor watercolor painting
• Guided tours at the Deep Creek Preserve (bird watching, historical and children’s activities)