A Volunteer Invitation

Dear UVLT Volunteers and Members,

This summer, as the Patchen Miller Intern, I am creating nature programs for children. My goal is to use outdoor art projects and observation exercises to engage children and nurture their sense of wonder. As an artist, I am excited to work on these projects, but I’m also aware that there are other ways to view and share nature with others.

Therefore, I’m extending an invitation to anyone who has a special interest or talent to accompany me on a short hike for children and their parents. You might choose to share your knowledge of natural history, animal tracks and signs, plant identification, or anything else that you find compelling. Kids love to explore and learn from a passionate teacher! I will design and lead activities to complement your unique perspective on the land. For example, I can teach the kids how to make plaster casts of animal tracks, instruct them to record species names and drawings in a nature journal, or show them how to make bark rubbings of different types of trees.

UVLT’s 2011 Patchen Miller Intern, Ally Bernstein, guided a group of children in making this fairy bridge using plants and other natural objects.

These programs will be primarily aimed at kids aged eight through thirteen. Depending on your availability, we might take a one hour walk or spend an entire afternoon outside. We can choose a date in either July or August to accommodate your schedule. I have a list of UVLT-conserved lands near schools and libraries, both of which are good meeting and reflection spots, but we have a lot of flexibility in terms of location. We can adventure through a meadow, a wetland, a forest, or any area that has meaning to you. You might view a place where you’ve walked countless times in a new light when you share it with others!

Even if you don’t have a specific talent in mind, I would greatly appreciate your presence on a hike. I’m hoping that there will be a lot of interest in these programs and your assistance would be helpful! If you can’t join us on a hike, please feel free to suggest a favorite trail, special place or exciting feature that might be interesting for children to discover. I’m currently scouting locations where children might be inspired to write poetry and build fairy houses, and your ideas are useful in this process.

Learning experiences outdoors provide children with a chance to make positive emotional connections, and their enthusiasm for nature is both refreshing and contagious. Please consider this opportunity and let me know if you are interested! I can be reached through email at uvlt.intern1@uvlt.org or by phone at 603-643-6626 x121.

Ally Bernstein
UVLT’s 2011 Patchen Miller Intern