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.
Snowflake Bentley April 8, 2014
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.
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.
Fallen Tree makes for Loose Parts Play March 13, 2014
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
Last 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/succulent–cork-magnet-monterey
Support Green Schoolyards in San Diego! March 10, 2014
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