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Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Week 2 and 3: Edible Plants and Amphibians

Blink and you’ll miss them!

April in southeast Ohio brings some special things that are only around for short time: frogs calling and laying eggs, delicious wild plants, mushrooms, and wildflowers. This week and next, we will show you how to find them before they’re gone.

Here’s what to expect:

Monday, April 6: Vernal Pools, Part 1

Wednesday, April 8: Foraging for Ramps

Friday, April 10: Ecosystems in a jar

Downy yellow violet blooming in leaf litter.
Downy Yellow Violet

Monday, April 13: Vernal Pools, Part 2

Wednesday, April 15: Eating Garlic Mustard to Save the Planet

Friday, April 17: TBD

Click on a link or keep scrolling through the blog to start.

Categories
Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Week 1 Round Up

Hello everyone! Today we are going to wrap up the week by sharing what YOU found in the Signs of Spring and iNaturalist lessons.

Then we’ll challenge you to take it further, and investigate dandelions! You’ll investigate when, where, and how many dandelions have popped up–using both your observations, and others’ observations.

This Week’s Finds

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Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Observing with iNaturalist

Today, we’ll be showing you a way to take your nature observations a step further, by contributing them to a website used by scientists (and by nature-lovers like us!)

Using the app iNaturalist, you can share the cool things you find, and get help identifying what they are.  At Rural Action, we’ve been using iNaturalist to try to identify all we can in the Wayne National Forest. Because of it, we’ve found moths and a dragonfly that have never been recorded there before!

Who knows, maybe you’ll make a discovery yourself!

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Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Signs of Spring!

The change from winter to spring is one of our favorite times of year! As nature lovers, we have missed seeing the plants and the critters moving around.

Tiny details can be a clue that spring is coming — even if it’s still cold!

Maple buds beginning to swell and open.
Tree buds swell (get bigger) in spring, getting ready to send out leaves. Left: Closed red maple bud. Right: Swollen maple bud. Photo: USA-NPN
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Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Week 1 of the Young Naturalists Club

Juni shared this unusual horsetail plant in “Signs of Spring.”

Finding cool things in nature, noticing details, wondering — these are some of the most important skills for becoming a neighborhood naturalist! 

This week, we are going to practice making observations. We’ll need to use all 5 of our senses to notice as much as possible! We’ll even send some of our observations to scientists to add to their data. 

Here’s what to expect:
Monday: Signs of Spring
Wednesday: Observing with iNaturalist
Friday: Week 1 Round-Up (plus dandelions!)

Head on to one of those activities to get started!

Categories
Distance Learning Young Naturalists Club

Welcome!

Usually, this time of year, Rural Action’s Environmental Education team would be outside with you all: leading field trips, visiting kids at schools, and exploring the woods and creeks.

But this year’s a little different. Since we can’t lead programs together in person, we’re exploring nature using the internet to connect us.

Follow along each week, and we’ll share nature activities you can do from home! Email us or post comments about how it went for you, so we can share in the fun together.

Each week will have a different theme. New activities come out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And on Friday, we’ll showcase some of the cool photos and stories you’ve shared.

You can still go outside and follow COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines. These activities can be done in the average backyard or neighborhood green area. They are also make good activities on a family day hike. If you visit a park, just remember to maintain 6 feet of space between you and others, and that playgrounds are closed as of March 2020.

If you feel like you are too old or too young for an activity, you can change it — or email us and ask us for more!

If you are a teacher, we hope that these can also supplement some of your distance learning. Let us know if you have any suggestions or requests.

Who are we?

Darcy is the Environmental Education Program Manager. She loves gathering wild plants for food and medicine, and nature journaling.

Joe is the Environmental Education Program Director. He loves frogs and toads, birds, and survival skills.

Madison, Brett, Nate, Dani, and Nessa are our Environmental Education AmeriCorps members. You’ll get to meet them all soon!

Introduce yourself below! We’d love to say hi!