Children love outdoors – they love to run, jump, play and laugh out loud. They observe every little thing going on around them and they have thousand of questions about all they see. Children are free and unburdened and able to absorb their immediate environment. What is presented to them shapes their minds for the future and we all want our children to do better than we ever did. The children today have unlimited possibilities and more resources being set in front of them for their taking. We as mentors and parents have only to provide the time and transportation to get them there. Sometimes the place we may need to take them is their own back yard.
If you live in the city and you hear about conservation, you may not realize that it is a part of your daily reality. When we talk about conservation we are not just talking about going out to the woods to hunt or going to our favorite fishing hole. Conservation is all around us in our concrete jungle. This is what we call Urban Conservation. In many neighborhoods you will see rabbits hopping around in the yards, birds of all kinds flying and communicating to one another, you may even see an occasional Peregrine Falcon swooping through. Some people may see deer and turkey. They may even see that first wild turkey fly and be shock because no one ever told them that these birds can fly. There is also an abundance of possum, raccoons and squirrels in our neighborhoods, and let’s not forget the tons of geese. The geese are normally considered migratory birds meaning they have seasonal movement from one region or climate to another and back again, but a lot of the geese in our city stay here. In a lot of other cities there are over 300 species of birds moving from place to place and they require some help from people to maintain their survival. Like for instance, we have to watch how we use pesticides in our yards to kill the bugs. These birds eat a lot of these bugs we consider pesky, and these bugs may be filled with poison from those pesticides. We also have to keep up with our domestic cats so they won’t eat too many of these birds, for everything in nature serves a purpose.
Food, water and shelter initially come from the natural resources of our land. In living urban, or living in the city we sometimes forget about this because we deal with so many other in your face sort of things and issues. We are able to go to fast food restaurants or to the grocery to buy products that supply our immediate needs. We are blessed to be able to do this, but being able to appreciate where it all comes from and having an alternative if needed is also empowering. Knowing the basis is key to any survival. Learning about our surroundings and or learning outdoors skills is a good thing. Respecting the place in which we live, the people and the creatures is all part of urban conservation.
The children have a natural curiosity to go outdoors to play and enjoy their backyard or the neighborhood park. Going outdoors in the city and learning about conservation and interacting with nature are free, healthy and simply fun for everyone.