Conservation manager Dayna Gross raised both sons, Ben and Abe, on the Conservancy's Silver Creek Preserve. The preserve's beautiful surroundings and wild inhabitants gave the boys much to see, do and explore.
In this Q&A and a great blog post she reflects on how these surroundings have enriched their lives and their imaginations.
A new survey reveals parents around the world are concerned children are not spending enough time outdoors. What is your reaction to that?
Absolutely- but I don’t think it’s only children, I think it is everyone.
Why is it important to you that your children grow up connected to nature?
Very important. I grew up in a Forest Service family, often living on FS compounds in the middle of nowhere and those were some of my best and most formative memories.
How does spending time outdoors impact your children?
They are more creative—I cannot believe what they can make out of rocks, sticks, dirt, and the landscape. They are more patient and play better together. They touch things and explore, and look around—they seem to get a better sense of where they are in the world- literally and figuratively.