When I was a kid, I started a club. It was for girls only, of course. We had our own hand-drawn logo and even a newsletter.
I loved nature and especially animals. I spent lots of time outside, fishing and catching frogs, toads, salamanders, crayfish and turtles. And bugs. Catching ants on the sidewalk in jars was the thing to do with the neighborhood kids. And if you could catch a fly?
Well, then you were the coolest kid on the block that day!
Fishing as a kid, among other outdoor activities, fostered a life-long love of nature for me.
Photo courtesy of Tricia Bergstue
I've had all kinds of pets, including the classic goldfish, hamsters, cats and dogs, as well as other, more unusual friends. Take, for instance, the catfish I kept on the porch and said hello to through the window as soon as I got up every morning. A raccoon eventually broke into the tank and ate him - I was traumatized. Or the beetles, worms, ducks, goat and starling. My house has always been a zoo.
This childhood love of nature and animals has carried over into my adult life. Now, I'm starting another club, only this time it's not just for girls.
Here at the Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, we're launching a new Watershed Defender Kids Club to teach all kids everywhere how to love and care for nature.
We're rolling it out with a monthly email geared towards kids, written by our adoptable animals and the Watershed Defender himself. The emails will include educational information, teaching kids how to be Watershed Defenders, along with coloring pages, fun activities and even watershed-themed snack ideas. To sign up for free, visit our website at chautauquawatershed.org and follow the link to the Watershed Defender Kids Club.
The Watershed Defenders Kids Club will offer great ways for adults to introduce and foster a love of nature with the children in their lives.
We encourage parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and teachers to sign up.
I know I would have loved this club as a kid, and I'm excited for its launch. We hope your kids will enjoy it, too and that it will help them develop a life-long love and appreciation for nature.
The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy is a local nonprofit land trust and watershed education organization that works to protect water quality through the conservation of lands that store, filter and deliver clean water to the county's lakes, streams and wells. The CWC promotes healthy watershed practices and offers technical assistance and land consultations to landowners through its Healthy Landscaping-Healthy Waters Program. For more information or to sign up for CWC's e-news club, visit chautauquawatershed.org or Facebook.com/chautauquawatershed.