LandPaths' Happenings Blog

A Year in the Field with Inspired Forward

Students from Marce Becerra Academy in Healdsburg experienced many "firsts" on their final outing with theLandPaths' Inspired Forward Program at Rancho Mark West: sitting alone in silent reflection in the forest, catching fish, as well as eating grilled vegetables on top of their hamburgers! 

Throughout the year, these high school students spent four days with LandPathsat various open spaces around Sonoma County - working to improve a landscape by pulling French Broom at Riddell Preserve, learning survival skills with Weaving Earth at Healdsburg Ridge, cooking slow meals together in the field and breaking a sweat while hiking the trails at Rancho Mark West (one trail newly built this year by Hermanitas-MANA - another group of Inspired Forward students). When asked on this final field day, how they'd want to help steward the land moving forward, the answer from Marce Becerra was clear: They wanted to build a trail, too!
In response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December of 2012, LandPaths immediately initiated Inspired Forward, a program geared towards (re)connecting teenagers with their local landscapes, encouraging exercise and healthy food, while engaging in an ongoing dialogue about true leadership, citizenship and a vision for a positive future.  Now in its third year, the Inspired Forward program works with three distinct teen groups- Marce Becerra Academy, Roseland Accelerated Middle School and Hermanitas-MANA. Next yearLandPaths plans to expand the program to include at least five groups.  
LandPaths is currently securing funding to allow us to build the capacity, partnernships and infrastructure to successfully implement and refine the program.  Please click here to make a donation to Inspired Forward.



Posted at 09:28

Free Lunch Outdoors, All Summer Long

Free Lunch Outdoors, All Summer Long

Free Lunch Kids Steward Bayer FarmAfter eating their lunch, these kids lend a hand stewarding Bayer Farm.

The Summer Free Lunch Program for youth at Bayer Farm is once again underway. Every weekday, all summer long, any young person has an opportunity to spend the entire afternoon outside on the land - participating in a free, shared meal, unstructured play, physical exercise, organic gardening, health education, summer reading and a vibrant community of all ages - at no cost.  

After a hot lunch provided by Redwood Empire Food Bank (and served under the shade of a walnut tree), children and families are invited to linger and enjoy the land - to help steward the community gardens, pick berries, and learn about health and outdoor access opportunities from visiting agencies and organizations such as Regional Parks and the Center for Well Being. Parents offer story time and the Bookmobile is parked with free books for kids.  On July 15ththe Imaginists will present their "Art is Medicine" show at Bayer Farm during the lunch hour.  

Thanks to a core group of a dozen Bayer Farm volunteers, working alongside LandPaths Staff and the Redwood Empire Food Bank, hundreds of kids and their families are reaping the mental and physical benefits of spending a bulk of each day outdoors and sharing a meal amongst friends, all summer long. 

The Free Lunch Program is offered Monday - Friday from 12pm-1pm at Bayer Farm in Roseland - 1550 West Ave.  Youth 18 and under are invited to receive a free, hot meal through August 8th. For the first time this year, parents are also welcome to receive a free lunch on Fridays as long as they are accompanying their child.

If you are interested in presenting during the Summer Free Lunch Program, please contact Omar Gallardo for more information.

LandPaths depends upon community support in order to offer a wide breadth of community-enriching programs at Bayer Farm.Please click here to donate. 

Posted at 09:27

In Our Own Backyard - Nature Immersion for Youth...and Parents!

In Our Own Backyard - Nature Immersion for Youth...and Parents!

Fanny And Forest Friends

Parent Chaperone Fanny Falcon stands with her son Jeremy and three classmates from Waldo Rohnert Elementary School, proudly showing off "Bob," a Native Hazelnut the group planted as part of their Stewardship Day at Jacob's Ranch with the In Our Own Backyard Program (IOOBY).  

Fanny Falcon and her son's class "adopted" Jacob's Ranch (the Sonoma Mountain North Slope,  soon to become an open Regional Park) for the entire school year.  Over the course of four themed visits, the group discovered Pacific Giant Salamanders living in the headwaters of Matanzas C
reek, planted native understory in the redwood grove, and trekked up to the open grasslands and the "Umbrella Tree" where expansive views knock the socks off even the most avid Sonoma County hiker.  "You could fly off this mountain!" said one student, when seeing the view for the first time.  Another was nearly speechless and simply said:  "Whooa." 

At the end of the year, and on her last visit to Jacob's Ranch, Fanny Falcon wrote the following note about her experience with the IOOBY Program: 

"This has been one of the most amazing field trips I ever shared with my son Jeremy.  I learned a lot, even though I missed the first hike. I really want to do this more often with my family and friends. Take it as an invitation!" 

The In Our Own Backyard Program can be a life-altering experience for hundreds of Sonoma County children each year - as it offers them a unique opportunity to connect deeply over time with a protected property near where they live.  That this transformative experience, in the case of Fanny and Jeremy, has leaped beyond the individual student, and into the family sphere, is another success for LandPaths.

LandPaths recognizes family as a critical shaper of life-long habits - influencing everything from the food we eat to how we spend our hard-earned free time.  LandPaths enhances family experiences by bringing them outdoors with IOOBY (and many other family-oriented programs) 
to explore and connect with the land where we live. 

In Our Own Backyard brings nearly 1,000 children and over 150 Parent Volunteers outdoors each year, over the course of four, full-day field trips - truly adopting a protected property through learning and stewardship. Opportunities abound for these students and families to take that "next step" into the great outdoors with LandPaths - be it through returning to their adopted property on their own, signing up for Owl Camp, participating in our Family Outings series, obtaining a Willow Creek Permit, or even becoming a volunteer. 

We accept your invitation, or challenge, Fanny, to continue offering innovative opportunities for everyone to find and pursue their own connection to Sonoma County's Big Outside.  And in turn invite you (all of you) to join us, and see what happens!


Click here for more information about the LandPaths' In Our Own Backyard Program.

Click here for information on the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District - generous supporters of Waldo Rohnert and many other 
Sonoma County schools who visit Open Space protected properties with the In Our Own Backyard Progam.

Click here for more information on Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Posted at 09:18

IOOBY students get to know their Habitat

It's the last month of the school year. We are sure that it flew by as quickly for you as it did for us. As we wrap up our 2013-14 field season, we reflect on how our students, your children, have grown. Some students were timid on their first day hiking in nature. Now, by their fourth visit, students exhibit their comfort in nature, their excited curiosity in exploring it, and their growing understanding of how nature works.

We are honored to have helped close to 1,000 students deepen their relationship with the earth this year. We hope that they take the lessons of nature home with them, and allow their experiences with IOOBY to shape their unique perspectives on life.

As you reflect on your child's growth, we hope that you see a deep respect for nature growing in them. Please remember LandPaths as your child continues to grow. Take your family on a hike at one of your beautiful Open Space Preserves, enrolling your child in Owl Camp, making a donation, or looking into other ways to step into the outside!

Thank you,
All of us at LandPaths

Wildcats On Top Of Taylor

HABITAT... what's that?

The theme of our final field trip was habitat. We explored just what makes a habitat through song, exploration, investigation, and down- right fun. Your child may have experienced a critter's habitat, first- hand! Ask your child about their experiences: what they saw, learned, and loved. Here's an idea of activities we completed together, along with some complimentary questions to get you all talking.

(1) SINGING THE HABITAT SONG "A tunnel for an ant Detailed Creyfish Scientific Sketch Alinaand a cave for a bat, what were those four things that make a habitat?"
Just like your child, every living creature needs four things to survive: food, water shelter, and space. You can bring home the concept of habitat by asking your child how their food, water, shelter, and space compare to that needed by other living things like earthworms, Stellar's Jays, or their brothers and sisters!

(2) THE SALMON GAME is a fun, creative, way to learn about the life cycle of this important fish. Salmon lay their eggs and begin their lives in freshwater creeks and rivers before making their long voyage to the Pacific Ocean. After up to 5 years in the ocean, they return to lay eggs in the exact same place they were born! Ask your child what they know about the salmon life cycle: Can salmon be found close to your home? How have humans impacted salmon populations? How can we improve habitat for salmon?

We took time to look back on our whole year with IOOBY and wrote postcards to ourselves! Using watercolors, we painted pictures on the front of our postcard and described our favorite experiences in nature. Ask your child: What did they paint? What were their favorite IOOBY experiences throughout the year?

(4) SAYING GOODBYE TO OUR SIT SPOTS Since it was our last visit as a class, we said goodbye to our sit spots. Ask your child if they liked their sit spot. Would they like to go back? Many of the parks we visited are public and can be accessed anytime. Offer to take your child back to their sit spot. If their IOOBY site is not public, remind your child that sit spots can be created anywhere, anytime.

Magical Sit SpotSit Spots are central to IOOBY field trips because we believe that time alone in nature can allow us simple, quiet time; create peace in our hearts; and clarity in our path and purpose. Encourage your child to create their own sit spot in a local park, your garden, or in a special place at home.

What is IOOBY?

IOOBY stands for In Our Own BackYard. IOOBY is LandPaths' premier environmental education program that aims to cultivate a level of comfort in, connection to, and informed appreciation of the outdoors for students involved. Through four theme- based field trips, we hope to awaken each student’s senses to the world around them through discovery and exploration, enliven their curiosity about the natural world through fun- filled investigations of their own watersheds and local habitats, and ultimately, inspire them to respect, protect, and steward the land.

Click here to learn more about IOOBY.



A BIG Thanks to our Sponsors:

IOOBY Logo Collage BIG OSD+


Posted at 10:42

Los estudiantes hacen conexiones de en su hábitat

Este año hemos tenido el privilegio de ver a su hijo/hija profundizar su conexión con un paisaje adoptado cerca de donde viven. ¡LandPaths cree que las relaciones fuertes con la tierra conducen a niños saludables, familias saludables, y a comunidades saludables- esto es de lo que IOOBY se trata!

En la cuarta visita a su espacio adoptado, los estudiantes de IOOBY demostraron curiosidad de cómo funciona la naturaleza y sobre todo la voluntad de explorar y aprender sobre sus alrededores. A través de Stewardship, un concepto que exploraron durante una de sus excursiones este año, vimos a los niños comprender la importancia de ciudad y dar gracias a la tierra por todo lo que nos ha proveído.

Estamos honrados de haber sido parte de la educación de su hijo/hija. Esperamos que vean un gran respeto por la naturaleza creciendo dentro de ellos, y que hayan llevado las lecciones de la naturaleza a casa y que permitan que sus experiencias con IOBBY formen una perspectiva única de la vida.

Por favor aprovechen de los otros programas que LandPaths ofrece- en particular nuestros frecuentes paseos familiares de Vamos Afuera  y nuestro Campamento del Búho que se lleva a cabo en el verano. Muchas gracias y esperamos verlos muy pronto de nuevo por "El Gran Afuera" del Condado de Sonoma.

-Bree Bird, Bumble Beth y Jessica Jellyfungus

Wildcats On Top Of Taylor

¿Qué es hábitat?

El tema de nuestro último paseo fue hábitat. Exploramos lo que forma el hábitat por medio de canciones, exploración, investigación y divirtiéndonos. Su hijo tal vez experimento el hábitat de un insecto, pregúnteles a sus hijos acerca de sus experiencias; que vieron, aprendieron, les gusto. Aquí hay una idea de actividades que hicimos juntos, asi como algunas preguntas que pueden hacerle comenzar una conversación.

(1) Cantando la canción de Hábitat "Un túnel para una hormigaDetailed Creyfish Scientific Sketch Alina y cueva para un murciélago, ¿Cuáles fueron las cuatro cosas que forman un hábitat?" Como su hijo, las creaturas vivientes necesitan cuatro cosas para sobrevivir; comida, agua, casa y espacio. Usted puede llevar a la casa el concepto de hábitat preguntándole a su hijo como su comida, agua, casa y espacio es comparado con el de otras criaturas vivientes por ejemplo; lombrices,  pájaros, o sus hermanos.

(2) Coleccionando y dibujando criaturas del arroyo Pregúntele a su hijo que animalitos llego a dibujar. ¿Puede el recordar c como ellos respiran bajo el agua?

(3) Reflexiones Positivas Nos tomamos el tiempo de mirar al pasado en nuestro ciclo escolar de IOOBY y escribimos cartas. Con colores de agua, Pintamos fotos en el frente de nuestras cartas y describimos nuestra experiencia favorita de la naturaleza. ¿Pregúnteles a sus hijos que pintaron? ¿Cuál fue su experiencia favorita durante el ciclo escolar de IOOBY?

(4) Despedirnos de Nuestro Propio Asiento Como era la última visita como clase, dijimos adiós a nuestro asiento. Pregúntele a su hijo si le gusto su asiento secreto. ¿Le gustaría regresar? Muchos de los parques que visitamos están abiertos al público y los puede visitar a cualquier hora. Ofrézcale a su hijo el regresar a su asiento secreto. Si su asiento secreto IOOBY no es en un parque público, recuérdele a su hijo que un asiento secreto puede ser creado en cualquier lugar, a cualquier hora.

Magical Sit SpotAsientos secretos de IOOBY son creados en nuestros paseos porque creemos que un tiempo solo en la naturaleza nos pueden brindar; tranquilidad, paz en el corazón, y claridad en nuestro camino. Fomente en su hijo el crear un asiento secreto en un parque local, jardín, o lugar especial en la casa.

¿Qué es IOOBY?

Significa “En su Propio Patio” por sus siglas en ingles. IOOBY es un programa educativo del medio ambiente de LandPaths que enseña a cultivar un nivel de comodidad, conexión, y apreciación informativa del campo. Por medio de cuatro temas y paseos, esperamos despertar en cada estudiante el sentido del mundo que les rodea por medio de exploración, revivir su curiosidad acerca del mundo natural por medio de alegres investigaciones de las cuencas acuíferas y hábitat local, finalmente, inspirar los a respetar, proteger, y cuidar la tierra.

Seleccione aqui para aprender más acerca de IOOBY


Muchas gracias a nuestros patrocinadores

IOOBY Logo Collage BIG OSD+

Posted at 10:32
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