On October 26, 2017, many in the NH Children in Nature Coalition gathered to “Celebrate the Past, the Present, and a New Direction for NH Children in Nature” at the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in Holderness. At this Network Building Event, we introduced the concept of Network Weaving, began to map our network, and sampled several of the tools from the Network Weaving approach.
Since 2007, the NH Children in Nature Coalition (NHCiNC) has successfully raised awareness about the importance of connecting children to nature across the state. As a result, many creative individuals have stepped up to share the importance of this movement with friends, families and co-workers. These individuals, organizations, government agencies and businesses – across a variety of sectors – have implemented programs to support connecting children, youth and families to the great outdoors.
We are beginning to expand the network and empower people and organizations to share new ideas and implement them in their communities. The NHCiNC collaborative leadership team has been engaged with the national Children & Nature Network in a community of practice to grow our capacity for network weaving. This is a way to connect people who have similar ideas and foster creativity to help small groups that can support each other in local communities or across a region.
Click here for access to the materials that NHCiNC Collaborative Leadership Team members have been using to learn about and apply the Network Weaving approach devised by June Holley. (Look for the three webinars with “Network Building” in the title.) We hope they will help you play a dynamic role in the weaving of an expanded network that connects more children, youth and families with the outdoors.
Ongoing Events around the State
January 1st FIRST DAY HIKES with NH STATE PARKS & PARTNERS Start the New Year off on the right foot by joining NH State Parks and their partners at 1 of 5 locations around the state for a healthy hike. Preregistration is requested to prepare refreshments and gifts! View Poster
Summer Programs and Open Centers
NH Audubon, Concord & Auburn – Summer camp programs for ages 4 – 15. One week sessions all summer. Spend summer days in the great outdoors and explore the natural world! Massabesic Audubon Center, Auburn – New “Passport to Adventure” – Families will follow clues that will lead to various locations around the Audubon Center and its trails where they will find a stamp that can be used to stamp their passport. Call (603) 668-2045. 4-H Clubs and Programs (statewide) – Join a local 4-H club or 4-H affiliated after school program and explore outdoor hands-on projects with other families from your community. Find the UNH Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development office in your county to get started click above to learn more. Appalachian Mountain Club (statewide) – The AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. Hikes, camping, paddling and special events throughout NH, especially in the White Mountains! Beaver Brook Nature Center, Hollis – Trails & Gardens over 35 miles of trails on 2200 acres of conservation land in southern NH, Beaver Brook is open 365 days a year, dawn to dusk. The office is open M-F 9-3 pm. Environmental education programs take place year round for people of all ages and school groups. Topics range from New England Wildlife and Wildflowers, Maple Sugaring, Orienteering, Forest Ecology, Aquatic Science, Watershed education, composting and organic gardening to earth themed birthday parties! See calendar of events for more details. Great Bay Discovery Center, Greenland – Weds. – Sun. through September, 10 to 4 daily. Interpretive exhibits about the Great Bay Estuary and the amazing creatures that call it home. Children can get their hands wet in an estuarine touch tank as they learn about lobsters, horseshoe crabs, mud snails and more! Special events include BayVentures – Sandy Point Beach Clean-Up on July 13 or July 15: Join us for a mini-service project, learn how pollution affects Great Bay, and make a craft to take home. 9:45 am – 12pm; ages 7-11; pre-registration required. Harris Center for Conservation Education, Hancock – The Harris Center offers more than 100 programs and outings each year. Volunteer leaders guide hikes, bicycle treks and paddling adventures throughout the Monadnock Region. Programs and workshops are held at the Harris Center. Little Nature Museum, Contoocook – Events include: Spring Wild Edibles Workshop, June 25, 1 to 2 pm; Child Survival: Teaching Your Child to Survive Getting Lost in the Woods workshops, August 6; NatureFest, “Tots on the Trail” nature walk, Sept. 10. Weekends and holidays June 25 through October 30 Petals in the Pines, Canterbury – We are an Arbor Day certified Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom with nature play spaces for kids and families. “Spread Your Wings” Days are held Thursdays from 9-2 for spontaneous play time. Open most Thursdays through Oct. 13th. Check petalsinthepines.com for details and other special event listings. Our annual Monarch Festival will be on Saturday, Sept. 10th, and is always the 2nd Saturday in September. Prescott Farm Environmental Education Center, Laconia – WildQuest Summer Camp for children ages 4-15. Throughout the year, Prescott Farm has public programs, field trips, and long-term partnerships with local elementary schools. Visit the farm, which is designated as an official New Hampshire Wildlife Viewing Area and offers hiking on more than three miles of woodland, pond and field trails. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, Holderness – Open meadows, mature forests, and marsh boardwalks connect interactive natural exhibits where native animals reside: black bears, mountain lions, raptors, river otters, bobcats, and more. Many special events and programs! Check our Facebook page for coalition partner events and activities!