This year we have had the privilege of witnessing your child deepen his/her connection to an adopted 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 children 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 all the many opportunities to connect more deeply with the outdoors through LandPaths. We offer family-friendly outings throughout the year as well as Owl Camp, a nature-immersion summer program for youth.
Many thanks and we hope to see you again soon in Sonoma County’s Big Outside!
Bree Bird, Bumble Beth, and Jessica Jelly Fungus
The theme of our final field trip was habitat. We explored 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 complimentary questions that may get you all talking.
(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 their brothers and sisters!
(2) COLLECTING AND SKETCHING CREEK CRITTERS Ask your child what critter they got to draw. Can they remember how it breathes under water?
(3) USING ART & WRITING AS A TOOL FOR REFLECTION
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 as soon as you can. If their IOOBY site is not public, remind your child that sit spots can be created anywhere, anytime.
Time in nature can alleviate stress, connect us more deeply to our surroundings, and help to clarify 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?
LandPaths' education program In Our Own BackYard (IOOBY) works in partnership with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District to develop a connection between Sonoma County students and a preserved open space property.
The IOOBY program includes four theme-based visits to the property throughout the year, each one focusing on one of the following natural history topics: Discovery and Exploration, Watersheds, Habitat, and Stewardship. Classroom visits prior to each outing help establish good trail and safety practices, as well as orientation to tool use and stewardship techniques.
Contents (c) 2008 by Land Partners Through Stewardship (Landpaths) Site Credits