Nearest Nature: Spend Time in Your Yard

Do you want to spend more time in nature? If so, forget the scenic  vistas , popular parks, and wild destinations; there’s is an enormity of nature in your yard, even if it is the size of a postage stamp.

Here’s a starter list of ideas for easy ways to get more time outside.

  • Garden or tend plants
  • Watch or feed wildlife and birds
  • Paint or draw
  • Read
  • Cook
  • Run around and play
  • Entertain guests
  • Climb a tree
  • Play in the snow
  • Play with water
  • Collect plants
  • Cut flowers
  • Sit and contemplate
  • Meditate
  • Do yoga
  • Build or use a tree house
  • Grow food
  • Exercise
  • Roll down a hill
  • Spend time with pets
  • Raise animals
  • Relax
  • Nap
  • Play lawn games
  • Slack line
  • Zip line!
  • Sleep out overnight (tent optional)
What do you like to do in your yard?

Find Your Naturehood

I really like this new campaign by the US Forest Service and Ad Council: Every neighborhood has a naturehood. I’m not sure that it’s a brand-new idea—Canada has a naturehood program too, as do some individual communities—but it does have some great messaging about getting outside.

What’s a naturehood? A naturehood is simply nearby nature: parks and other special places close to home that allow to get outside and unwind. Because nature isn’t just something far away—it’s all around.

How to Find What’s in Your Naturehood

Want to get to know your Naturehood? One thing to do is to look for new places close by that you may not know about, or places you haven’t yet visited or fully explored. There are tons of great apps for exploring nature. But if you’re looking for new places in your neighborhood, Continue reading “Find Your Naturehood”

What is nature?

I have a hard time working out for less than 30 minutes. If I got for a run, it has to be at least 3 miles long so that it will take about 30 minutes. The idea of working out for a shorter duration of time—even if it’s extremely tough—feels wrong to me. Even knowing the benefits of shorter, faster, harder exercise, I struggle with feeling that unless I can get that full half-hour increment of time, I shouldn’t bother. That it somehow doesn’t count as a real workout, that I’m cheating.

I think this is how we tend to think about nature.

If I ask you to think about “nature”, what comes to mind? Is it a big vista of a glacial lake framed by mountains and big sky? A forest of ancient trees covered in only slightly less ancient, billowing moss? Lions on the Serengeti?

When you think of nature, what comes to mind?
When you think of nature, what comes to mind?

Or do you think of something a bit closer to home? The last botanical garden, arboretum, zoo, or nature preserve that you visited? A waterside trail in your neighborhood?

It’s likely that your picture of nature was somewhere “out there” in a place that’s outside of your everyday experience. Continue reading “What is nature?”