Who Will Carry On?
Let’s face it. Those of us who founded INPAWS in 1993 are getting on in years. We need new blood to invigorate the organization and carry the mission forward. Where will the next generation of stewards come from?
We’re lucky to have attracted some energetic young people to take leadership positions. We’re taking the INPAWS display to garden shows, Earth Day festivals, and master gardener events to spread the word. At DNR’s Hoosier Experience, we reach families looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors. But we need to do more.
We’re especially concerned about how to gain mindshare with the generation just coming up, many of whom who seem to be totally out of touch with the natural world.
Broadening INPAWS’ Reach
Here are a few projects INPAWS is working on to develop tomorrow’s promoters and protectors of native plants. We invite you to explore where you might fit in.
Letha’s Youth Outdoors Fund A program of grants to schools and youth organizations to support inspiring excursions to Indiana’s natural areas and youth-initiated projects that bring them in contact with nature.
School Projects INPAWS volunteers are working informally in local schools to share with students and teachers their passion for native plants and the natural world.
Education and Outreach INPAWS has a committee dedicated to greeting the public wherever people gather to learn about gardening or the natural environment.
Speakers Bureau INPAWS volunteers will narrate prepared slide shows to interested groups upon request.
Connecting Kids to Nature
Past generations of Hoosiers happily played outdoors for hours, but for today’s children—and their young parents—time outdoors has been replaced with “screen time” in front of a TV, computer, or electronic game.
Richard Louv’s influential book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, has launched an international movement to put school-age children back in touch with nature.
The book argues that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of both children and adults.
At INPAWS, Letha’s Youth Outdoors Fund is bringing children to nature, and our members are working to create and preserve natural areas for today’s children and future generations.
From INPAWS Journal
“Hey Kids, Come Out and Play!” by Reni Winter, Winterhaven Wildflowers & Native Plant Preserve Spring 2008