Happy New Year to all of you! Here's hoping 2016 is blessed with beauty and nature for everyone!
Last year, 2015 (which is difficult to believe I already have to call 2015 LAST year!) saw some great new projects and continuation of older projects. We had a second very successful Butterflies and Bees Celebration on June 27, with over 200 people dropping by to enjoy food, crafts, balloon art and, of course, butterflies and bees.
We also launched our first after school conservation program, Wildlife HERO (Habitat, Environment, Resources, Outreach). Eighteen 3rd, 4th and 5th graders participated. We met
once a week for six weeks, culminating in a wonderful school-wide showcase. Our HEROES shared what they learned with students and staff. Overall it was successful. This year several of the participants asked me if we were going to have Wildlife HERO again. The answer is - yes!
In 2014 we had an event called Flower Pots and Cooking Pots where we demonstrated Dutch Oven cooking and gave away native plant seeds and seedlings. In 2015 we simplified the event, called it Free Seeds for Bees, and gave away many seedlings and seeds. On a Saturday and Sunday in September I hung out at Pickwick Park and dispensed seeds and seedlings to passers by. That was great fun and I plan to do it again in 2016.
Overall in 2014 and 2015 I believe we've given away well over 100 native plant seedlings! Pretty impressive.
The last few months of 2015 were difficult. I dealt with health issues, and we said goodbye to our dear friend, sweet Katie. Katie is the inspiration of a project I did to earn my Missouri Environmental Educator certification. Several volunteers and I put in a raised bed in the yard of the group home where Katie lived. We planted several vegetables and watched them grow and produce. Katie was so proud of that garden! Nature is such a healer and touches everyone in so many ways. We will miss Katie so much, and we pray that her mother, Sharon, and her family will find peace and healing.
This brand new year is shaping up to be a good one. Day Three and I am still productive! Yay! This year I hope to bring NatureHoodinto reality. Stay tuned for details! We difinitely plan to continue offering various programs to schools and neighborhoods, and hope to expand to other areas and increase our scope.
Overall, 2016 is shaping up to be another wonderful year for NatureHood. It is my hope that we can forge more ties with other organizations and work together to foster true change in our environment, both locally and globally. Have a wonderful 2016 and may you be truly blessed!