Thank you to the WRITEOUT adventure of the National Writing Project and the National Park Service — a STEAM-powered Write Out 2022. Organized as a public invitation to get out and create, supported by a series of free online activities, Write Out invited educators, students, and families to explore national parks and other public spaces. The goal was to connect and learn through place-based writing and sharing, and that’s just what happened throughout the United States and beyond. Check the #writeout Twitter feed to see the sharing.
If you started a nature journal– take a look at what you’ve drawn and written. Consider how you can keep it going. If you have a smart phone, take those pictures and keep a digital album of your learning. I enjoyed leafing through my journal– where science and art and writing continue to inspire me.
Continue sharing with your family and friends, and let the outdoors be one of your favorite places for learning and a place to let go and relax, enjoying the beauty that surrounds us– be it in the city parks or rural centers.
So Keep Journaling and Snapping Pictures
Something that my mom taught me was to keep the little things precious. She always planted a little garden– flowers in the front yard and vegetables in the back yard. And, she’d pick a few flowers to press and frame. I still have some of those hanging in my home, and they are a joy now that winter is coming. So I snapped a picture and wrote a poem of thanks to my mom:
Today, we snap pictures
I know– we’d like to pick the little flowers, but the best way to remember the little flowers we see in parks is to snap a picture, because if everyone picked the flowers, soon there would be none.
The National Park Service does not allow the picking of flowers– after all, their purpose is to protect our land and its resources for us to continue viewing over and over into the future. The Mount Rainier National Park provides these tips for taking care of and with wildflowers in this brochure.
I share my wildflower and nature viewing — with poetry, too — in an album on Flickr. It’s a wonderful way to remember and review the beauty that I see.
Forest Service Information
Tempted to pick flowers? Try — in your own yard, ask your neighbors, or get permission from your local park. How about starting your own garden? A great place to learn how is here: Kids Gardening.
I know– we’d love to pick those flowers, but a photo is better. The United States Forest Service has some guidelines for viewing and preserving our wildflowers:
- Forest Service Permits
- Forest Service on Ethics
- Forest Service About Wildflowers
- Forest Service How To Preserve / Press Wildflowers
- Forest Service Wildflower Viewing Areas
- Forest Service Kids and Teachers, including gardening, preparing places to help the bees, and other activities
- Forest Service suggested in it’s Kids Page KidsGardening
Remember, the best thing to do to protect our wildflowers and other plants is to keep drawing and writing in your journal and a save a photo album.