” There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving. There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates. “
— Maria Montessori
Earth Day is this Friday, April 22, 2022, and is usually a time when people think of ways to support good stewardship and care of our home planet. Hopefully this is something we think about year round, but we wanted to take a little time to consider what we can do to intentionally celebrate our connection with and reliance on the earth.
Below are some suggestions for family-friendly ways to make space for celebration & gratitude.
Go for a walk or hike (remember this post about some good options around Santa Fe?). Go somewhere new and talk with your children about the things they see and are curious about. Take along a guide book or take pictures of plant and animal species to look up when you get home.
Get in the garden (we had a post about that too!) and plant some hardy plants (we may still get a frost).
It’s good time to plant seeds or visit a nursery – kids love picking out a plant of their own and learning to check on it and see it grow daily. Visit Plants of the Southwest or Agua Fria Nursery to explore native plants that can support native insect populations and survive in our environment with relative ease.
Spend some time appreciating the uniqueness of the natural world around Santa Fe, and instilling good stewardship practices in our little ones as they grow – picking up trash on hikes or walks, using reusable materials, conserving water use, etc. In the Montessori lineage, we think of ourselves as guides and models for our students. How can we each model stewardship to encourage the same of our children?
Visit a place dedicated to celebrating the natural world like the Nature Discovery Area at the Audubon Center, the New Mexico Wildlife Center, and the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens.