Being a Naturalist in the Life of a Child

Class Cancelled

Naturalist Workshop on May 9On Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 10am to 12pm, the Eugene/Springfield Eco-School Network and Nearby Nature will host Dick Roy from the Center for Earth Leadership in Portland for a two-hour workshop exploring an exciting ongoing role, Being a Naturalist in the Life of a Child. The relationship can be daily (parent or neighbor), episodic (grandparent), or distant (relative). The role requires no pre-existing knowledge of nature or biology. It is an excellent training opportunity for adults to foster and nurture a child’s relationship with nature.

Children are born, as Rachel Carson observed long ago, with an innate “sense of wonder” and curiosity about the natural world. This natural connection is experienced directly through their senses – seeing, touching, hearing, and smelling. In our modern culture, many significant influences disconnect children from a sensory experience in nature and erode their sense of wonder. As an antidote to these modern influences, the adult naturalist amplifies and nurtures a child’s natural sense of wonder and curiosity. The benefits to both adult and child are countless, and the bonding around a shared interest in the natural world can be one of the most enriching and memorable dimensions of life for both of them.

In this workshop, we will explore the intentional role of a naturalist in the life of a child. The workshop is one of three programs developed by the Center for Earth Leadership to enrich the lives of children living in an urban culture. The workshop is free but registration is required. Childcare is available in the Learnscape for $5 a child if requested 24-hours in advance. Download Flyer.

Registration Form

Naturalist Resources

Books for adults: the role of naturalist in the life of a child

  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornell
  • Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors by David Sobel
  • Closer to the Ground – An outdoor family’s year on the water, in the woods, at the table by Dylan Tomine
  • Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Anderson
  • Wild in the City by Mike Houck

Field guides for adults & older children to learn more about Nature

  • Birds of the Willamette Valley Region by Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa, and Hall Opperman
  • Trees to Know in Oregon by Edward Jensen, Oregon State University
  • By Pat Lichen: Passionate Slugs and Hollywood Frogs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Backyards Brittlestars and Mudbugs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Shorelines & Wetlands River-Walking Song Birds and Singing Coyotes: An Uncommon Field Guide to NW Mountains

Local nature activities for adult and child

Learn more about local nature education and outdoor adventure groups and agencies here.

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