LandPaths' Happenings Blog

Los estudiantes hacen conexiones de en su hábitat

Iooby HabitatEste 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 IOOBY 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 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.

¿Hábitat...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 toco 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, así como algunas preguntas que pueden hacerle comenzar una conversación.

(1) Cantar la canción de Hábitat

Un túnel para una hormiga 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 traer a la casa el concepto de hábitat preguntándole a su hijo como su comida, agua, casa y espacio y comparándolo con el de otras criaturas vivientes por ejemplo; lombrices,  pájaros, o sus hermanos.

(2) Coleccionando y dibujando criaturas del arroyo

En los pasados meses, las lluvias han permitido que sigamos buscando animales e insectos que viven en arroyos y estanques. ¿Favor de preguntarle a su hijo/a que atraparon y si ha aprendido más a través de dibujos detallados?

(3) Reflexiones Positivas

Nos tomamos el tiempo de mirar el año en nuestro ciclo escolar de IOOBY y escribimos cartas a nosotros mismos. Con colores de agua, pintamos fotos en el frente de nuestras cartas y describimos nuestra experiencia favorita con la naturaleza. ¿Pregúnteles a sus hijos que pintaron? ¿Cuál fue su experiencia favorita durante el ciclo escolar de IOOBY?

(4) Despedimos a Nuestro “Espacio Personal” (Sit Spot)

Como era la última visita como clase, dijimos adiós a nuestros espacios personales. Pregúntele a su hijo(a) si le gustó su espacio personal. ¿Le gustaría regresar? Muchos de los parques que visitamos están abiertos al público y los puede visitar cuando quiera. Ofrézcale a su hijo(a) regresar a su espacio personal. Si su espacio personal con IOOBY no es en un parque público, recuérdele a su hijo(a) que un espacio personal puede ser creado en cualquier lugar y a cualquier hora. Espacios personales de IOOBY son creados en nuestros paseos porque creemos que un tiempo a solas en la naturaleza nos pueden brindar; tranquilidad, paz en el corazón, y claridad en nuestro camino. Anime a su

hijo(a) a crear un personal en un parque local, jardín, o lugar especial en la casa.

Eventos próximos de la familia:

Miércoles.  22 de junio, 10am-1pm: yoLeo en la Cima: Healdsburg Ridge
Miércoles. 29 de junio: 10am-1pm: yoLeo en el Bosque: Healdsburg Ridge
Miércoles. 6 de Julioh:  9am-12pm:  yoLeo en el Jardín: Bayer Farm
  Miércoles.  13 de Julio:  10am-1pm:yoLeo entre los Redwoods: Grove of Old Trees
Miércoles. 20 de Julio:  10am-1pm:yoLeo junto al Arroyo: Rancho Mark West

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Posted at 14:01

IOOBY Students Explore their Habitat

Iooby Habitat

This year we have had the privilege of witnessing your child deepen their connection to a natural landscape near where they live.  LandPaths believes that strong relationships to land lead to healthy kids, healthy families and healthy communities - this is what IOOBY is all about!

By their fourth visit to their adopted property, IOOBY students showed a curiosity about how nature works and a willingness to explore and learn from their surroundings.  We saw the students grasp the value of giving back to the land through stewardship, a concept they explored hands-on during one of their field-trips this year. We are honored to have been a part of your child's education. We hope that you see a deep respect for nature growing in them and that they take the lessons of nature home, allowing their experiences with IOOBY to shape their unique perspectives on life.

Please take advantage of some of the other programs LandPaths has to offer – in particular our ongoing family-friendly outing series and our nature-immersion summer program for youth- Owl Camp.  Many thanks and we hope to see you again soon in Sonoma County’s Big Outside!

HABITAT... what's that?

The theme for our final field trip was habitats. We looked at 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. Below is a list of activities we completed together, along with some questions to ask your child about their experiences.


(1) SINGING THE HABITAT SONG "A tunnel for an ant and 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  salamanders!

(2) COLLECTING AND SKETCHING CREEK CRITTERS. Ask your child what critter they got to draw. Can they remember how it breathes under water?

(3) POSITIVE REFLECTIONS
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 places 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.

The concept of sit spots are central to IOOBY field trips because we believe that time alone in nature can alleviate stress, connect us more deeply to our surroundings, and bring about 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.

 

Upcoming Free Family Events:

Wed.  June 22nd, 10am-1pm:  iRead on the Ridge: Healdsburg Ridge
Wed. June 29th: 10am-1pm: iRead in the Forest: Healdsburg Ridge
Wed. July 6th:  9am-12pm:  iRead in the Garden: Bayer Farm
 Wed.  July 13th:  10am-1pm: iRead in the Redwoods: Grove of Old Trees
Wed. July 20th:  10am-1pm: iRead by the Creek: Rancho Mark West


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Posted at 13:49

Coastal Access

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Fair and Just Access to our Coastal Commons 

 

Land Partners Through Stewardship – or LandPaths as it’s better known – was founded in 1997 to manage access and stewardship at a new addition to a State Park unit here in Sonoma County.  At the time we were told that this was the first and only partnership for management of a State Park by a nonprofit in California, save for a historic flower garden in downtown Santa Barbara. 

Our management of this new 1100-acre park in 1997 – followed soon after by the 3400 acre Willow Creek addition to Sonoma Coast State Park for a period of ten years – was only possible because of at first dozens, and then hundreds, of volunteers powering our work on the ground.  In this equation of energized volunteers plus nonprofit organization, we did not treat our public lands as though they belonged to agencies headquartered a two-hour drive away.  We treated them, and still do to this day, as The Commons that belongs to us all. People take action - people take care of - those things that they feel a kinship for.  In Sonoma County – there is a deep kinship with the mosaic of working landscapes and wildlands that comprise our home, our place.

In the summer of 2007 LandPaths decided to do something besides pointing the finger at government in order to address the disconnect between people of color and the region’s parks.  We envisioned and built a 2½-acre urban park that looks and functions like a working farm in downtown Santa Rosa.  Eight years later the Bayer Farm has been featured in magazine articles, documentary films and heralded as a model at countless conferences across the country.  More importantly, it has gained LandPaths a semblance of trust by groups of people long forgotten by the conservation movement.  The farm gives people from 14 different languages, Vietnam Vets and urbanites looking for a relationship with soil, the chance to farm, break bread and engage in dialogue together outside in a shared commons.   

If the Bayer Farm brought us relevance in the Latino and other communities consistently underserved by the simple equation of access to land equals health, it has been our program – Inspired Forward – that has brought our work increasing relevance to addressing health and wellness to Youth in the past four years. 

On March 23 a group of Inspired Forward teens finished a four-day walk from Monte Rio to the Sonoma Coast across lands public and private by permission, camping and eating local farm foods and never stepping into a vehicle for the 20-mile journey.  Two of these students – from park-underrepresented households, themselves US Citizens and 4.0 students – had never seen the ocean until they topped out on the coastal ridge.  Are these not part of the palette of young people that reflect our county, our promise, our future of engaged citizenry inspired by the land and water that is the foundation of all of our social, economic and biotic capital?  Do we want to create yet another barrier for access to the beauty that is Sonoma County? 

We at LandPaths are passionate about fair access to land for the betterment of the long-term sustaining of natural systems and human communities. Through time-tested and strong partnerships with our County’s Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and State Coastal Conservancy, LandPaths has pioneered public access for tens of thousands of people in the past 19 years.  And because of these partnerships, in addition to the dedication of volunteers across the cultural and socio-demographic spectrum, and buoyed by contributions from school children’s penny-drives and family foundations alike, we’ve provided this access for free.   

Perhaps the powers that be in the State of California should think yet again about allocating funding for State Parks, so that it isn’t placed into a position where it feels the need to place a fee on such an elemental California experience, of standing by the shoreline and inhaling the wind off the Pacific.    

LandPaths has been transformed for the better by the inclusion of all people across the spectrums of ethnicity, education, gender identity, economic well-being and life experience. 

Perhaps more than any other of California’s fifty-eight counties, Sonoma is defined in large part by the raw beauty of its landscape, its flora and fauna, its wildlands and working landscapes.  Please help us to insure that all people are welcomed -  regardless of abundance or paucity of pocket change - to stand above the ocean bluff or walk on the sand and savor what is great about our county and country.

 

Craig Anderson

Posted at 11:17

Inspiring Teens Forward, Spring Break Trek 2016

Spring Break Trek

"There is no way that I could ever put this experience into words to describe it to my parents.  It would take weeks and months. The only way to get them to understand, would be to take them out here too."  -Inspired Forward TrekYouth Participant 

This past week, 11 Sonoma County teens trekked 20 miles over four days, from LandPaths’ Bohemia Ecological Preserve to Shell Beach, as part of LandPaths Inspired Forward program. During the trek, they foraged for Black Trumpet mushrooms that they later ate for breakfast, made tea out of fir tips and nettles, participated in a stewardship project and cooked their fresh veggies over an open fire while sharing stories, songs and a whole lot of laughter.  

The group included youth who had migrated from Colombia only six months before and two siblings from The State of Eritrea.  At least five were the children of farmworkers and had been enrolled in Migrant Education at some point in their lives.  None of the teens were avid hikers. Only a couple of them had ever been camping before, let alone backpacking.  At the onset, the thought of walking 20 miles over rugged terrain, carrying their gear on their backs, sleeping in tents at night, was both strange and unsettling.  But along the way they found a sense of peace and deep satisfaction, that only such an experience can bring. 

Jess Holloway, LandPaths Staffer and Trek Leader, (who claims she’s still grinning about this trip, a week later) shared this glimpse into camp life: "We told myths and legends around the campfire, along with personal stories of their experience on this journey. I haven’t laughed so hard for so long in quite some time. It felt like one of those nights you never want to end. Everyone was so comfortable with themselves and with each other, laughing around a fire, sharing fears and accomplishments. There was a lot of talk about how stressful life is on a daily basis and how good it feels to be away from all that." 

Through this multi-day trek teens gained access, many for the first time, to the ultimate show stopper -- which is nature.  They learned about the ecology of their place,  and surprised themselves with their own stamina in walking many miles over rough trails. Over the course of four days, they transformed from a band of strangers into a tribe, each one sinking into a sense of their own belonging in the process.  All the teens agreed it was a life changer.  

Ultimately, Inspired Forward, and all of LandPaths programs, are about developing and supporting this sense of belonging- in direct contrast to the sense of disconnection that can feel like the norm for many people these days.  LandPaths aims to bring experiences like this within reach for all.  See below for three brand new opportunities to spend the night outside - trekking and or camping with LandPaths - a Family Trek, a Teen River Trek and a Free Bohemia Campout!

 

While nature does most of the work, people are important to the process.  Tremendous thanks to Freddie Sanchez, a local chef who met the group and cooked them a meal, to Socorro Shiels – Director of Education for the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence– who came out and talked with the group on Monday night. Thanks to Westminster Woods for allowing the group to take shelter on Monday Night with only two hours notice, as it was pouring rain and too wet to camp.  Thanks to Bay Area Wilderness Training for loaning the gear for this trip.  Thanks to Community Action Partnership and the North Bay Organizing Project.  And finally many thanks to the Sonoma County Health Services Department for the three-year grant that has helped to bring hundreds of local teens on Inspired Forward field trips, and to all LandPaths’ supporters whose donations help to complete the funding needed for this program.


 

Posted at 10:36

In Appreciation of Your Generosity,Local Stewardship & Fighting Horror with Love of Land & People

Grove Workday

Love was in the air at our Grove of Old Trees this past weekend as neighbors from across Sonoma County gathered as we have for 15 years, at the Grove’s annual workday.  Folks from 10 to 70-something mulched trails, replanted barren areas with sword fern, improved drainage to the trail system beneath the 1,000 year-old trees, trees spared from the axe in September, 2000, and removed about 400 feet of fencing to allow for better wildlife passage.  Under the direction of Friends of the Grove (or FOG) President Michael Johnston and LandPaths stewardship coordinator Erin Mullen, volunteers beat the morning chill with physical exertion, laughter and – later at a friend and neighbors’ home across the lane – chili served in front of a warm hearth. At this time of year I am profoundly grateful for the community that continually steps forward to help LandPaths care for the land.

Before ending on a note of Gratitude, I am impelled to reflect on the week’s global news - the recent horror in Paris - as it stands in relief to the true and immutable work of LandPaths.  This ‘actual work’ lies just beneath the surface of our programs for all people, from urban farming, to educational outings for kids throughout the year, and nature immersion for adults on outings and Treks.  That is, we at LandPaths hold that time spent together on the land helps the land, and helps humans individually and collectively heal as much, if not more, than the nature being tended or protected.  

I think it important to note what we believe is the impact that LandPaths’ daily work has in addressing one of the roots of violence: marginalization of people.  Through stewardship days and access to the beauty of nature, where all people are welcomed and given the chance to make a difference regardless of skin color, age or socioeconomic standing, being respected and learning about their soil, sinking their own sense of belonging – we witness great things weekly!  May our nation and our world, at this difficult time of grieving also express Thanksgiving for the time spent outside tending to both nature and to the human condition.

Finally, I express my own Thanksgiving for all of those who responded to our recent $30,000 ‘Reduce our Carbon Footprint’ challenge match so generously led by Will and Julie Parish.  We are now able to reduce the paper - handling and staff time associated with a larger end-of-year mailing by virtue of the gifts we received.  we are most grateful for you and the work behind and what still lies ahead.  Thank You. 


Craig Anderson

Posted at 11:21
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