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YEC News for July 2017

Children's Journeys into Nature

Requests for programs rolled in from Bothell to Bellevue signifying another busy year for the Youth Education Committee. To date we have worked with 624 children and  278 adults in a variety of settings: public and private schools, libraries, nature centers and nurseries. What do these numbers tell us about children? Yes, it is possible to disconnect them from their IPhones, IPads and computers and invite them into the natural world. Research demonstrates the importance of doing  so at an early age. Such exposure impacts children's social, emotional and physical health. Humans are definitely better off connected to nature.

And what does this connection look like for children involved with the YEC? For some it may mean a walk at Juanita Bay Park where they delight in a Red-breasted Sapsucker busy at work three feet away from them. Others participate in a presentation on migration and then eagerly become a migrating bird as they "fly"  from station to station outside hoping for wind to help them on their way while avoiding tall buildings. A visit to one of our booths inspires children of all ages to get involved with nature as they encounter our Red-tailed Hawk, Rufous Hummingbird and Pileated Woodpecker mounts. They look through magnifying glasses at feathers and silently listen to the harsh keeeeer of the hawk, the chip, chip, chip of the Rufous and loud wuck of the Pileated Woodpecker.

The YEC is dedicated to making sure that children have these experiences. How can we expect them to grow into adults who care about nature if they haven't experienced it? Imagine a world in which all children play, learn and grow connected to the natural world.

Mary Britton-Simmons 


Pied-billed Grebes by Mick Thompson

Pied-billed Grebes, by Mick Thompson.

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The mission of Eastside Audubon is to protect, preserve and enhance natural ecosystems and our communities for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people.