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Community Nature Hike

Written by Resident Events On  August 02, 2018   324   0
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Community Nature Hike

We all need a breath of fresh air sometimes!

One creative way to provide that for your residents is to organize a nature walk on a nearby park or preserve!

 

There’s more fun in numbers! Hiking nearby allows you to take advantage of the natural beauty close to your community, without having to go too far.

 

Many urban areas are within 30-45 minutes of a large park or nature preserve. Ask around or search online to find what green open spaces and facilities are available to you!

Once you’ve narrowed down the list, arrange a day and time to go out “into the wild” with your residents.


As you arrange your outing, here are a few things to keep in mind…

 

Guide or No Guide?

You can ask for a knowledgeable community member to step forward and lead the pack, or you can manage the group yourself!

 

If you’re planning to lead the walk yourself, consider studying up and walking the trail yourself first with a local plant and animal guidebook in hand. This way you’ll know the paths in advance. You’ll also have time to plan what features you will point out to residents on the day of the hike.

 

If there are experts available, you can also coordinate with a local forager, horticulturist, or field guide in your area to arrange an afternoon of walking, hiking, and learning about the local flora and fauna.

Either way, residents should come away from the outing well exercised and having learned a bit about the local landscape.

 

What to Wear?

 

We recommend sturdy boots or sneakers for hiking along regular trails. Try to pick a trail that takes no more than an hour or two to complete at a slow pace. This way older residents and children can keep up!

 

 

 

Image source: Pixabay

 

If there is a risk for bites from critters like snakes, mosquitos, or ticks in your area, encourage residents to wear long pants and long sleeves. You can also encourage them to apply sunscreen and bug repellent before heading out. Keep a first aid kit in your backpack, just in case!

You may also want to keep a bottle of non-toxic essential-oil based bug-repellent on hand to offer to residents.

 

Take Your Time

 

While you should have a meet-up time at the park or preserve, be flexible. Understand that it is meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing outing, and keeping to strict timetables is not always needed.

 

If residents want to spend extra time exploring certain areas on the trail - along the river for example - let them! You can gently urge them to move on after spending some time at any particular location.

The goal is to get exercise, visit, and get to know each other, all while exploring your natural surroundings. Encourage residents to stop and smell the roses (and other wildflowers) and fully immerse themselves in the natural world around them.

Whether you go as a large or small group, you’ll come back refreshed and energized as a community!

via GIPHY

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