In nature I find peace, renewal and truth. I hear the beat of nature’s heart.
As a child I loved hiking up mountains and crossing clean fresh water streams. It was not yet polluted and we kids cupped our hands to drink the water right out of the pools collecting in pockets of the creek. It’s a blessing to be able to spend more time in nature now and share my knowledge of and passion for it with people from all backgrounds and ages.
When students peer into my nature kit, they might find animal skeletons or a butterfly wing or a crosscut of a redwood branch. Living on the Pacific migratory flyway as we do guarantees we will see a range of fascinating shorebirds and songbirds any day of the week to pique our curiosity about their habits and habitats.
As an Oakland resident, I recognize that historically these lands were well cared for and managed by Ohlone peoples, and the greater Bay Area by other groups such as the Miwok. But they were stolen from the tribes and polluted over time. They are still struggling today to protect sacred sites from being built on and desecrating their ancestors. See http://protectsogoreate.org/
To return local landscapes to cleaner, more natural states requires commitment and lots of hard, hands-on work. A rising tide of people is dedicated to removing invasive species of plants and animals, planting natives in their place and reviving watersheds throughout the area. I feel fortunate that I can participate in Friends of Sausal Creek ‘s restoration work in my neighborhood. It works — an expanding number of bird species have returned along with a few fish.
Let me know what kinds of places you would like to visit and we’ll make new discoveries in our nearby parks and waterways.
By the way, I am a Bay Area naturalist and writer with Certificates in natural history, and environmental management and technology. I completed the Forestry Institute for Teachers summer program, which I highly recommend. It’s free. In my down time, I play the West African djembe, take on friends and foes in Scrabble and photograph wild places.