After the brief cold spell we had last week, this was the perfect week to get outside! Enjoying time outside increases our connection to nature and our desire to protect the natural world. It’s also good for our physical and mental health. We hope you had some wonderful outdoor adventures and will continue to spend time outside!
Walk 21 Minutes a Day
Have you joined our challenge to spend at least 21 minutes a day walking outside for 2021. Each season offers something new to notice. Right now, we can observe the beauty of the spring flowers, the return of pollinators and birds, and the subtle leafing out of the trees. Try walking down the same path at least once each season and observe the changes you see. Explore various areas and notice the differences and similarities. Take deep breaths and let the fresh air fill your lungs. Listen for sounds you might not hear if you weren’t listening for them. There is so much to see, smell, and hear while walking outside!
P.S. If you’re not familiar with what you’re seeing on your walks, you can download the iNaturalist app to help you out.
New River Trail Guide
We have such a wealth of places where it is a joy to spend time outdoors! If you would like a list of local trails then check out the New River Valley Regional Commission’s (NRVRC) updated version of the New River Valley Trail Guide! We understand hardcopies are available at Blacksburg Parks and Recreation.
Share Nature with Children
New River Land Trust’s Youth Outreach Program
We can all use a little more time outdoors and research shows that children (and adults) who have a strong connection to nature are more likely to want to conserve it in the future. The New River Land Trust’s Youth Outreach Program has several projects that help develop that connection, including a wonderful nature play space at Blacksburg’s Heritage Park and Early Birders and Stream Exploration Backpacks available for checkout at local libraries.
We know it is so important for kids (and adults) to spend time in nature to develop an appreciation and interest in conserving it, as well as for physical and mental health. SEEDS (Seek Education, Explore, DiScover) has been providing adventurous environmental education to kids for more than 25 years through their amazing summer camps and, more recently, operating the Blacksburg Price House Nature Center, which features live animals, educational exhibits, a small pond and a native plant pollinator garden. Just a few blocks from Main Street, it hosts a wide variety of insects, birds and other animals that visit the grounds, including frogs, toads and salamanders. The grounds are testament to how inviting even an in-town property can be to wildlife. Although SEEDS is not yet able to resume normal operations, they are looking forward to some open hours by appointment and maybe some one-day mini camps this summer.
City Nature Challenge
Friday was the first day of the sixth annual City Nature Challenge and Blacksburg is proud to once again be a participating city. Did you take part this year? Let us know what observations you made!
Started in 2016 as a competition between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the City Nature Challenge (CNC) has grown into an international event, motivating people around the world to find and document wildlife in their cities. Run by the Community Science teams at the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the CNC is an annual four-day global bioblitz at the end of April, where cities are in a collaboration-meets-friendly-competition to see not only what can be accomplished when we all work toward a common goal, but also which city can gather the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the event. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 City Nature Challenge will not be focused on competition; instead we want to embrace the healing power of nature and celebrate tens of thousands of people all around the world, searching for and documenting their local biodiversity, together in this event.City Nature Challenge
Week 6 starts tomorrow! Join us as we discuss ways to Make Gift-Giving More Sustainable and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook to see daily updates.