Connecting Kids with Wildlife

With Earth Day coming up next month (April 22), it’s a great time to think about helping your kids connect with nature. To support that effort, you might want to join wildlifenation.org, an online community launched in January by the National Wildlife Federation. The aim of Wildlife Nation is to connect people with each other in order to instill a love of wildlife in children. It’s sort of like a Facebook for people who care about wildlife and want to pass that love on to kids.

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“Children today are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and wildlife,” says Becky Lentz, director of Great Lakes programs and operations at the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office, which initiated the community. “We started Wildlife Nation because we can’t imagine a world where nature and wildlife are not a part of kids’ lives. Our goal is to create a community where we all help each other so that kids today can enjoy the wonders of wildlife whether they live in a large city, a suburb, or rural community.”

If you join the community, you’ll be able to upload photos of, tell stories about, and ask questions about all sorts of outdoor activities. You can also find resources that will help you engage in enriching outdoor activities with your kids, whether it’s building a habitat in your backyard, planting trees, or going camping or fishing. And it’s completely free to join!

Click here learn more about Wildlife Nation. Even if you choose not to join, plan to get out in nature with your kids in honor of Earth Day! Whether it’s making a bird feeder for your backyard, hiking a local trail, or looking for squirrels at a park, it will help your child develop a love of wildlife and nature that he or she can pass on to future generations.

What are you doing with your kids to commemorate Earth Day? Let us know and inspire other parents!

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Jennifer Marino Walters is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in All You, Fit Pregnancy, Parenting, and several other magazines and websites. She’s the mom of adorable twin boys and the wife of a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. Though she and her family recently moved from the mountains of Colorado to the beaches of Southern California, Jennifer—a New York City native—is a city girl at heart. She writes about her adventures raising twins while navigating the military lifestyle on her blog, www.doubledutytwins.com

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