Taking My Son To Work Day: Ranger Rick Loves the Granite State

My son, Seth, visits with a salmander.
I cherish the days, when I invite my nine year old son to work (soon to be 10 years old — can you believe it?). Often I am sitting at a desk responding to emails, talking on the phone and typing away at the computer (working to change the world for the better is a true blessing), but sometimes I get to leave the office and, as we at National Wildlife Federation like to call it,“Be Out There.”

On Saturday, July 18, my son and I had a terrific day joining more than 1,000 people at NWF’s and New Hampshire Audubon’s Engage Nature event. The event was a big hit for the kids and their parents, from “ponding” (kids having fun with nets in a pond), “fielding” (kids having fun in a field catching and identifying insects), seeing bald eagles and screech owls and a zillion of other fun filled activities.

Engage Nature

New Hampshire Audubon, our newest state affiliate, did a terrific job in organizing the event. They had five separate locations, including the McLean Audubon Center, Massabesic Audubon Center, the Hebron Fair & Newfound Audubon Center, Ponemah Bog Sanctuary in Amherst, and the Seacoast Chapter of NH Audubon at the Seacoast Science Center. New Hampshire Audubon is an independent state Audubon.

The Concord Monitor did an excellent job at previewing the event on the front page of their weekend section, highlighting the affiliation between NWF and New Hampshire Audubon:

“The purpose of the affiliation is to strengthen,” said Kelly Wing, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Audubon.

“It’s to provide a partnership that strengthens the capacity of each organization. . . . And it works particularly well, because of course, National Wildlife Federation being very large provides resources that a small organization like ourselves might not have. But what we can provide to them is local, on the ground, grassroots resources.”

Though it’s just begun, the affiliation has already helped pay for fundraising and development training for the New Hampshire Audubon’s staff and board that otherwise might not have happened due to limited financial resources.

Ranger Rick gives a “high five” to Mike Bartlett, New Hampshire Audubon President, as NWF’s Regional Representative Don Hooper, and NWF Board of Director Paul Beaudette look on.

National Poll Demonstrates Americans Realize the ‘Indoor Childhood’ is a Real Problem

I am sure that many of the event participants wouldn’t be surprised that a recent poll found that 82% of likely voters (Republicans and Democrats alike) believe that kids not spending enough time in is a problem (50% said it was an “extremely” or “very serious” problem). The poll was conducted by the Nature Conservancy, of “likely voters,” and demonstrates that conservation is a bipartisan, patriotic issue that united Americans from all walks of life.

NWF has some amazing resources for parents to make getting outside easy and fun. As a parent, I know my son’s schedule can often get focused on Taekwondo, hockey and other organized sports (which I love), so I make sure he gets as much unstructured time outdoors as possible. Some great resources that I recommend, include “The Dirt on Dirt: How Getting Dirty Outdoors Benefits Kids”, Whole Child: Developing Mind, Body and Spirit through Outdoor Play, and Green Time for Sleep Time.

Some happy kids before heading to the Pond to find some wildlife friends.
As NWF embarks on our ambitious goal of connecting 10 million new kids to nature, we need your help more than ever. Take a moment to visit our Be Out There site and consider volunteering to help us get the word out — kids need and love getting outside.

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