Photo: Butterfly Day at Kankakee Sands by Leigh Littiken
We all know that getting out in nature is great for our health, but sometimes our busy schedules make it difficult to find the time to get our “green time”. Fear not, it’s really much easier that you might think – because green time is all around you!
Getting you green time is truly as simple as standing outside and noticing the nature around you. No batteries, tools or fancy footwear required.
This Nature Connection Pyramid by Nature Kids Institute below, which was made for kids but certainly can apply to all of us, is worth sharing with friends and family. Let’s encourage one another to get outside…heck, we can even go outside together!
The most important thing is to go out every day, if even for two minutes, and allow yourself to sink into nature. Ignore the sideways looks of your neighbor, and marvel at the intricacies of the bark on a tree, the veins on a leaf, the flight pattern of a goldfinch, strands of a spiderweb listening with dew, the chill of a snowflake as it falls on your nose. You’ll see art, you’ll witness math, your mind will be more creative and more at ease.
Although daily doses of nature can be found right outside your door, you can also get your green time by taking a drive to Kankakee Sands and joining other nature enthusiasts for a few hours of fun in the 8,000 acres of prairie and savanna.
Bison viewing at Kankakee Sands by Tony Capizzo
Kankakee Sands offers regular, outdoor, family-friendly workdays and events each month in which you can learn about nature and volunteer to help make the natural world a better place too. You can read up about the workdays, and see pictures too, on our Nature Conservancy website. Just type in “nature.org/events” into your browser and then select Indiana from the drop down menu.
Friends of the Sands also hosts outdoor family friendly educational activities such as nature hikes, kayaking, and monarch tagging at and around the Kankakee Sands area. Find out more about Friends of the Sands activities by following them on Facebook or emailing to FriendsoftheSands@yahoo.com.
If you have student or school groups that would like to explore and learn at Kankakee Sands, or an adult group that might enjoy a nature experience, let us know. We are all about connecting people with flowers, trees, bison, butterflies, birds, and memories that last a lifetime.
And we can inspire the next generation by learning about the Children of Indiana Nature Park, a nature park in east central Indiana, info at ilovemyland.org. The Children’s Park offers each Hoosier child an opportunity to download, for free, his/her very own “Nature IN-Deed.” Each deed is unique, and students can enter their coordinates on the Park website to find their very own spot located within the park. This is a great way to motivate students to learn about, care for, and get out into our natural world.
We often associate the summer with outdoor fun, but we should remember that anytime of the year can certainly provide us with enriching, sometimes rainy sometimes chilly, outdoor experiences. So, this fall and winter be sure to get outside if even for a few minutes each day. I’ll see you out there!
The Nature Conservancy’s Kankakee Sands is an 8,400-acre prairie and savanna habitat in Northwest Indiana, open every day of the year for public enjoyment. For more information about Kankakee Sands, visit www.nature.org/KankakeeSands or call the office at 219-285-2184.