Grandparents and Grandchildren Sharing Nature

“Grandparents as Nature Guides for Grandchildren,” June 27, 2-4 pm @ the Library, is a talk and hands-on workshop for grandparents who want to spend time outdoors with grandkids. Space is limited! Register online. We’ll provide ideas, information and inspiration for becoming “Nature Mentors” for grandchildren and other young people, including information about Lafayette Open Spaces and resources.

To learn more about this intriguing program, Martin Ogle, Education Coordinator/Naturalist with Lafayette Open Space, discusses the 2-part series with Rob Burdine, Superintendent of Lafayette Open Space.

Rob: Hi, Martin, thank you for joining me to discuss the upcoming 2-part series “Grandparents as nature guides for Grandchildren.” Concept is unique; what was the inspiration for the development of this series?
Martin: At the heart of this program is connection! In “Grandparents as Nature Guides for Grandchildren” we will provide ideas for how grandparents can connect with their grandchildren, and for both adults and children to connect with the outdoors – Open spaces in Lafayette are perfect places to form bonds of love of the outdoors between young and old.

Rob: Grandparents and grandchildren seem to have a natural bond and level of trust. Is that a factor in your decision to focus the series around this special relationship?
Martin: Families have a natural affinity to connect across generations . . . that’s why grandparents are moving here! These days, with a faster pace of life and kids being as busy as adults, it’s not easy for young and old to spend time together. Outdoor settings are the perfect place for generations to spend time together; being outdoors naturally slows people down and encourages those natural bonds and trust to grow.

Grandparents also have a unique opportunity to help keep children’s wonder and curiosity alive. Decades ago, biologist and author Rachel Carson wrote “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

Rob: What do you hope participants gain from attending?
Martin: We’ll offer a number of resources to help them feel familiar with Lafayette’s Open Spaces, and demonstrate some fun and easy activities that they can, in turn, share with kids. We’ll provide some basic information about local plants and animals. Most importantly, we’ll help grandparents engage kids’ curiosity in and wonder of the outdoors, enabling grandparents and kids to explore the world together and to have a lot of fun doing so!

Rob: Can one participate even if one is not a grandparent? 
Martin: These programs are aimed at grandparents because of their unique role in kids’ lives. However, we’d welcome other adults that are in similar roles – “older” adults who have special family relationships with and spend occasional time with children.

Grandparents have always played very important roles in the lives of young people, enabling happier, healthier kids and, thus, happier and healthier communities.