Nature Explorer

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Weed Seeds May 11, 2014

Filed under: Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:59 am

My garden is a mess of weeds. But this weed seed pod is the most amazing container I’ve ever seen. It’s like a tiny, perfect pot, with a lid. Under the lid are tiny holes, like the holes in a salt shaker, to shake the seeds out a little at a time whenever the stalk rattles in the wind.

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Snowflake Bentley April 8, 2014

Filed under: Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:17 am

I am no Snowflake Bentley. But isn’t snow amazing? My children and I tried to catch pictures of perfect flakes in a Sierra snowfall, and got these pictures.

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Spring Storm

Filed under: Animals,Everything Under the Sun,Gratitude,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:10 am

When you live in a hot place, it’s wonderful to find yourself in situations in  nature that the rest of the nation deplores: a blizzard! These American Coots probably regretted coming to the Sierra early — but the 50 degree weather the week before fooled them! To us, it was an amazing experience to be blown around, freezing cold.

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Fallen Tree makes for Loose Parts Play March 13, 2014

Filed under: Environmental Education,Everything Under the Sun,Gardening,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 5:41 am

When a tree fell in the school garden, we used the opportunity to create a fort-making space. With the addition of a box of nature play materials, we have the start of a Loose Parts Play set. Children are using all the loose parts in the garden to create a world, learn social-emotional skills, and have fun! Here’s a link to further reading about loose parts play. http://www.readingplay.co.uk/GetAsset.aspx?id=fAAyADUAMgB8AHwARgBhAGwAcwBlAHwAfAA4AHwA0

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Hanging Succulents in the School Garden

Filed under: Everything Under the Sun,Gardening,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 5:33 am
Tags: ,

hanging succulentsLast year’s third grade students made these picture frames into hanging succulent gardens with the help of Alissa Rose. Check out her tiny succulents-in-corks business on Etsy at www.etsy.com/listing/59746796/succulentcork-magnet-monterey

 
 

Support Green Schoolyards in San Diego! March 10, 2014

Filed under: Environmental Education,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 4:32 am

San Diego Unified School District has an unprecedented opportunity to give children access to nature as part of their Vision 2020 process of envisioning the schools of the future. You can be part of the process, too! You can enter comments for the SDUSD Vision 2020 forums. Go to http://www.sandi.net//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=1095 , and indicate that 0 will attend the March 10 forum, and then enter comments in the box.  The last meeting is on Monday March 10, 7-9 pm at Crawford High School. 4191 Colts Way (92115).

Anne Fege, with the San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative sent these comments to SDUSD members, encouraging them to take advantage of local resources to help children access nature:

“SDUSD has an unprecedented opportunity and obligation to provide the next generation with outdoor experiences that help them develop their curiosity and inquiry, a healthy lifestyle, a love of nature, and environmental awareness. The “green schoolyard” movement is gaining momentum globally and locally, and has the potential to improve the lives of every child, every day. Extensive existing capacity can be harnessed to work together, to invest in and transform quality Outdoor Learning Environments for students and teachers in every SD Unified school that support these Vision 2020 goals:
Schools will be safe, attractive neighborhood learning centers:  Enhanced schoolyard habitats can be established in partnership with local businesses, community and environmental groups. They can be “cross-generational” places where teachers, students, local gardeners, and other community members learn about gardens, natural areas, and outdoor play together.
Schools will extend beyond the school site:  Quality natural learning environments can extend into neighborhoods in parks, street trees, canyons open space, and playgrounds.  Field trips introduce students to the wonder of nature at the coast, nearby shrublands, canyons, mountains, desert, and nature centers.
Community volunteers and partnerships will augment the work of teachers in helping each student:  The local community-based capacity includes Master Gardeners, local landscape architects and other planners, the San Diego Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, about 200 trained naturalists, and nature educators in the San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative.
Anne S. Fege, Ph.D., M.B.A., Program Manager, San Diego Children and Nature Collaborative
A Program of the San Diego Science Alliance

 

 

 

Inspirations from Olivewood Gardens March 6, 2014

Filed under: Environmental Education,Gardening,Gratitude,Inspiration — explorergarden @ 6:58 am

I visited Olivewood Gardens , where I will co-teach a class in Starting and Sustaining Your School Garden on March 15. I am always so inspired by the gardens there and will bring back ideas for our school garden.

Swallowtail caterpillars

Swallowtail caterpillars

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A clever way to support blackberry bushes!

A clever way to support blackberry bushes!

Supports for berry bushes

Supports for berry bushes

Wheat, just beginning to grow strong!

Wheat, just beginning to grow strong!

The hidden world of the garden: A cool display about  insects and beneficial soil microbes

The hidden world of the garden: A cool display about insects and beneficial soil microbes

Young friends under one of many passionfruit arches. I want one of these in our school garden!

Young friends under one of many passionfruit arches. I want one of these in our school garden!

Concentric circles of herbs and strawberries.

Concentric circles of herbs and strawberries.

A tee-pea surrounded by carrots!

A tee-pea surrounded by carrots!

collecting water from the shed roof

collecting water from the shed roof

amaranth

amaranth

Another simple way to support plants

Another simple way to support plants

Tire garden -- we'll use these for our potatoetry garden!

Tire garden — we’ll use these for our potatoetry garden!

Hanging succulent gardens: volunteer Alissa Aldous helped last year's second graders make these to put on our own shed.

Hanging succulent gardens:
volunteer Alissa Aldous helped last year’s second graders make these to put on our own shed.

 

 
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