Archive for the ‘Richard Louv’ Tag

GoodGuides Summer Youth Program   2 comments

Mt. Lemmon (1 of 1) blogForest View on Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

I was pleased to be one of five Sabino Canyon Volunteer Nationalists (SCVN) to take 12-17 year old youth, who are participating in Goodwill Industries GoodGuides mentoring program, hiking on Mt. Lemmon last week.

Funded by a two-year grant to Goodwill Industries International from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Goodwill GoodGuides program is run by 56 independent Goodwill agencies around the country. 

The goal of the GoodGuides program is to help youth build career plans and skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work.

This is the second year SCVN has provided a guided hike on Mt. Lemmon for students in the GoodGuides program, most of which have never been hiking in the Santa Catalina mountains. 

— kenne

Now, more than ever, we need nature as a balancing agent.

— Richard Louv author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Leopold Point   4 comments


Hiking group (1 of 1)-6 blog framedHikers at Leopold Point signing, JOY, to my wife who is recovering from surgery — thanks for the kindness. (June 24, 2016)
— Images by kenne

Leopold Point

We hike the Catalina trials
around bid boulders
under the giant ponderosas
opening to fern meadows.

We reach the ridge
above the pine tops
sharing our unceasing
love for the splendid views.

We are nature enthusiasts
devoted to nurturing our senses
connecting more deeply
with life’s experiences.

We follow the trial
to Leopold Point
a special place to sit
in group solidarity.

We chatter away
while being mindful
to capture a moment
in brief solitude.

We have learned
the value of moment
by moment awareness
in connecting to nature.

— kenne

Click on any of the following tiled images to see in a slideshow format.

“Now, more than ever, we need nature as a balancing agent.” 

— Richard Louv

These Girls Love Learning About Nature   1 comment

Girl Scouts (1 of 1) blogSpending a morning with Girl Scout Brownies in Sabino Canyon — Image by Scout Mom

“We have such a brief opportunity to pass on to our children our love for this Earth, and to tell our stories. These are the moments when the world is made whole.”

— Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Searching For Creek Critters   1 comment

Creek Critters (1 of 1) blogSecond Grade Student Searching for Creek Critters in Sabino Creek — Images by kenne

Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) offer five different programs for elementary school children. One of the programs is called Creek Scene Investigation (CSI). In this program students learn about arthropods found in Sabino Creek. They learn about metamorphosis, the food chain and have an opportunity to collect insects out of the creek and investigate what they find.


Creek Critters (1 of 1)-2 blog

“An environment-based education movement
at all levels of education
will help students realize that school
isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration,
but a portal to the wider world.”

― Richard Louv,
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

“Am I Buggin’ You?” No, Not The “Bug Man!”   5 comments

Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists and Trainees Following the Carl “Bug Man” Olson Over Sabino Creek

If you feel like life if bugging’ you, it’s not the “bug man.” It’s more likely that you are suffering from “nature-deficit disorder,” something you will not have if you are spending time out in nature with the “creek critters.”

The Sabino Canyon Volunteer Nationalist (SCVN) thrive in natural environments and in being part of bonded social groups. Science continues to gather evidence for the benefits of living closer to nature. Most naturalists are well aware of the spiritual and mental sustenance obtained from spending time outdoors — now science is validating it. A few years ago, journalist Richard Louv wrote a book documenting the radical transformation of the culture in which American children grow up, a transformation in which “young people are being taught to avoid direct experience in nature.” (“Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder“) The SCVN mission is to help stop this transformation by promoting the value of learning from nature through activities and programs for children and adults.

To help the SCVN members better understand the aquatic habitats of insects and arachnids, Carl “Bug Man” Olson, Associate Curator, Insects, with the University of Arizona presented to the SCVN mentors and trainees at the Sabino Canyon Visitor’s Center, also down by Sabino Creek. Now I know such things as “The Katydid’s ears are on its legs.” And, “. . . that an insect with the congeal nickname of “kissing bug” could cause life-threatening allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.”

Carl also lead us through a variation of the Creek Critters activity, which involves using nets and small dishes to gather some of the critters in the creek. The images in this posting are from Carl’s creekside discussion. There were plenty of bugs, but no one was “bugged” by the “bug man.”


Images by kenne

Standing At The Altar of Nature — Part II: Nature Attitude   4 comments

Sabino Canyon — Image by kenne

A short time after posting “Standing at the Altar of Nature,” I received an email from Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists (SCVN) member, Walt Tornow, saying that my poem  “. . . captures my feelings about being in the mountains beautifully.” Walt and I understand how really rich we are, being able to embrace the great American treasure possessed by every citizen of our country. Walt represents people who love nature, want to experience as much of it as possible, and want to preserve and  share it. His feelings are expressed in the following, which he shared in his email and gave permission to post. 


Finding God in the wilderness …

  • The majesty of our mountains, the magnificence of views/ vistas they afford, and the splendor and munificence of the many gifts that nature has to offer
  • The awe and humility that comes from being witness to the grandeur of it all, juxtaposed with realizing the relative smallness and fleetingness of  our existence
  • Never feeling or being alone … lots of company by nature’s creatures, and taking in the beauty of nature’s show
  • Feeling vunerable, yet trusting, being in the wilderness — potential prey to wildlife, and exposed to the elements
  • Experiencing awe, joy and inspiration, by being here
  • Feeling connected … becoming one with myself, with nature, and the universe
  • Finding peace, serenity, and sense of holiness … my place of worship and meditation


Here for the grace of God am I …

Grateful to be, to, be here, and be given the opportunity and capacity to enjoy the many gifts/ blessings around me.

— Walt Tornow

It’s common to find many in southeast Arizona who love the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Americans, in general, love their National Parks. But, as Nicholas D. Kristof shared in Sunday’s (9/11/11) NY Times op-ed piece, “The National Park Service reports that the number of recreational visits to our national parks was lower in 2010 than a decade earlier — lower even than in 1987 and 1988. There were 35 percent more backcountry campers in the national parks in 1979 than in 2010.”

The Outdoor Foundation concluded in a “special report on youth” that “Fewer and fewer youth are heading outdoors each year.” It added that “each year outdoorshood has rapidly moved indoors, leading to epidemic levels of childhood obesity and inactivity.”

Richard Louv, author of the bestselling book, Last Child in the Woodswrites of the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, which he calls, “nature-deficit.” 

“The future will belong to the nature-smart—those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of the transformative power of the natural world and who balance the virtual with the real. The more high-tech we become, the more nature we need.”—Richard Louv

This trend is sad, but the SCVN organization is doing something to turn the trend around. In the words of William Wordsworth, “Let Nature be your teacher,” the SCVN promotes awareness and appreciation of nature “through activities and programs for children and adults.” Nature “reminds us that we are part of a larger universe, stewards rather than masters of our world.”

In today’s world, a common thread is “stress.” The best break from stress is Nature, and as David Biello reports in Scientific American, “A growing body of research suggests nature walks may be more restorative than traditional stimulants like caffeine.” For me, I’ll take both! What is your Nature attitude?

The SCVN organization is one of the best examples of Margaret Mead’s belief that “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Again, I share the words of William Wordsworth on Nature:


These beauteous forms,

Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: — feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened: — that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, —
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

— William Wordsworth, from the poem, “Tintern Abby” 


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