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“Wild Play” Author at May 12...

One of the big questions that arises for parents who see Mother Nature’s Child is “Where do I begin?” There are several good books out there listing activities and suggesting learning experiences for children in nature. But, if you want the perspective of a parent who raised two kids with a great deal of thought about the ways that time in nature could support their inner and outer development, read Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors (just published by Sierra Club Books). Those of you who have seen the film know that environmental author/educator...
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Children Have Their Say

Children Have Their Say...

Many thanks to the many students who responded to our essay request last spring about what the term “mother nature’s child” means to them. We received essays from four Vermont schools: Dothan Brook School in White River Junction, The Edge Academy in Essex Junction, The Pomfret School in South Pomfret, and the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Charlotte. The youngest author was a fourth grader, the eldest a high school sophomore. Their thoughts are honest and refreshing. Our appreciation goes out to the teachers who brought this exercise to their students in the final...
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Art and Drama...

    While Mother Nature’s Child is far from being a sexy or violent film, it does contain an abduction scene! To illustrate it, I turned to my niece Amelia Bethke and her twin passions for art and biology. Though just a few weeks from college graduation, Amelia found time to compose the four sketches we needed to illustrate the dramatic scene, movingly described by naturalist Jon Young. The simple sketches served as placeholders in the rough cut for the real art — which just arrived this week!  Though I’ve enjoyed the evolution of Amelia’s creative...
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Last Child in the Woods?

Last Child in the Woods?...

My filmmaker friend, Nicole Clark, recently returned from a camping trip at Sequoia National Park. This is the message she sent: “What’s wrong with this picture?  The largest living thing on earth, 2200 yrs old, weighing as much as 7 blue whales and still the media wins?? This was taken in Sequoia National Park at the foot of General Sherman – the largest living thing on earth. Instead of being astounded this kid was memorized by media.  I barely managed to take this photo…I was stunned by this child’s complete disinterest in his...
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Natural shift

Natural shift...

Last week as I sat down to edit, I found several bins of nature shots sent to me months ago by cameraman Michael Sacca who has worked a great deal on the film. I had requested a variety of shots in different seasons, weather, and times of day, wanting viewers to experience nature’s cycles, rhythms and the detailed specificity of its beauty. Though the day had started out with worries about our funding difficulties, as I settled in to review Michael’s work, everything began to shift. The next few hours were spent in awe —  of his skill and dedication and of the...

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