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Nature and COVID-19


As we deal with the social distancing, uncertainty, and other aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am reminded of the need to somehow stay connected with nature.  As some of you know, there is a growing body of evidence that spending time regularly out in nature is important for our mental health and overall well-being.  

We are fortunate to live in a state that has an abundance of public natural areas where we can explore nature.  We are home to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a few National Grasslands, 20 some State Parks and Recreation Areas, and several National Wildlife Refuges (more than any other state).  There are probably several natural areas to explore nature near your home.  And that doesn’t include city and county parks.  And of course for many among us, nature is literally in your own backyard.  

And that need for connecting nature applies to kids as well.  I happened upon the website of the Golden Gate Audubon Society.  They have a page of “Nature activities for kids during COVID-19” that even includes downloadable lesson plans for parents and teachers.  No doubt there are other tips and suggestions on the web.  

Of course, we need to be vigilant and heed the regulations pertaining to the pandemic.  And they are likely to become even more restrictive.  But do yourself a favor and take the time to relax and observe a little of nature as we navigate these unsettled times. Even if we have to stay at home, there are birds, plants, insects, and other aspect of nature to observe.  Start a bird list, feed the birds, check out the plants more closely, or look for interesting insects or other less conspicuous organisms.  There are lots of things we can do.  Get imaginative.  Who knows, it might even pique some interest in nature such as birding, wildflowers, photography or the like.  

I have included some links and information on refuges, parks, and other information for places to enjoy nature below.

-Chuck Lura



Prairie Public Broadcasting provides quality radio, television, and public media services that educate, involve, and inspire the people of the prairie region.
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