P1060125With the event at the Zoo last Saturday, g2g Outside is officially over. I want to thank all of you for your support and participation over the last five years! We have had a lot of fun exploring the outdoors in Sedgwick County with you! We hope you all will continue to enjoy our local resources to keep on exploring with your families.

The g2g Outside blog will continue to be here for the time being to provide the links and information that past staff members worked so hard to put up. You will also still be able to search all the past posts to find any ideas and articles that we posted way back when.

We hope to see you around and playing outside!

Our final g2g Outside event is upon us! You have the opportunity to do some bird watching in the Jungle Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo! Here are the details:

When: Saturday, December 14th from 3:30 pm – 5 pm.

Where: Sedgwick County Zoo Jungle Building

Meet At: I will post that information as soon as I have it, but typically we meet at the Cargill Learning Center and you MUST be on time!

RSVP is required and there is a limit of 25 people. Call 316-266-8213 to RSVP.

THIS EVENT IS FULL! We’re sorry we could not accommodate a larger group. Please visit the Great Plains Nature Center to learn about other programs and opportunities they have available.

Our g2g Outside November event is just around the corner, and it will be a fun one! The Great Plains Nature Center is hosting a Night Hike/Full Moon Walk through Chisholm Creek Park. Enjoy an evening under the stars and experience nocturnal nature!

There are two important things you should know…

1. You MUST RSVP to attend.

2. Space is limited to 25 people.

This event is full, but it looks like they are going to do the hike again (not as part of g2g) on Wednesday, December 18th.

Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather, but you don’t need to bring anything else.

I can’t believe it is already October! I keep thinking that it is going to be September for another month. Our October g2g event had to be cancelled earlier this year, but I just wanted to remind all of you about that.

We still have 2 more g2g events coming up, one in November at the Great Plains Nature Center and one in December at the Zoo. Both of those will probably require RSVPs, so watch the blog or Facebook page for that information!

P1060125  I can’t believe that it’s almost September! I really don’t know where the summer has gone. Our September g2g Outside event is coming up in less than 2 weeks! It is going to be held here at the Sedgwick County Extension Office.

Treats, Treks, & Toodle-oo’s

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 from 6-7 p.m.

Where: Meet in the Demonstration Garden at the Sedgwick County Extension Office (It’s on the Ridge Road side of the building) for some treats and then we’ll head off on some treks! We’ll be walking on our Nature Trail and perhaps have a scavenger hunt of our grounds as well.

Who: Anyone that’s bringing a child with them!

Cost: FREE!

No RSVPs are necessary.

So, the treats and the treks part of this event are pretty obvious. Maybe you’re wondering about the “Toodle-oo’s” part?

Well, that’s the other part of the news. Those of us that have been working with g2g Outside for the last 5 years have made the decision to end the program after this year. We have lost staff in the past couple of years and all of us, including our partner agencies, have been taking on new and different job responsibilities, leaving less and less time for g2g Outside. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the blog has been pretty quiet this year. There is no longer anyone that is able to spend enough time on g2g Outside to keep offering the program in a way that is thriving and growing. We are all sad to say goodbye to you, but we hope you’ll keep on playing outside anyway!

SO….The September event will be the LAST g2g event hosted by our core team. I know that Tonya is planning to come back for the event, and most of the rest of us are planning to be there.  We hope you can stop by to say goodbye!

The November and December events are still going to happen, just with one of the partner agencies. Keep watching the blog for information about those events. After our December 2013 event, there will be no more g2g events planned for the future.

The blog will still be here for links and references, and I may even post something once in a great while. We hope you will keep on with the good outdoor habits and play that you’ve learned in the last 5 years!

One of the gardening blogs (Garden Rant) that I read regularly had a guest post this morning about getting rid of your lawn to facilitate children getting outside to play. Here’s a little excerpt:

The good news is that means the yard is yours! Even you young parents can feel justified in ripping out the lawn and remaking your yard to your gardener’s heart’s content.

The really good news is that doing so can actually make your yard more enticing to your kids than a lawn ever could.

Here’s why. Kids like big rocks to climb on. They like bushes to hide under. They like trees to climb. They like water to splash in. They love trying to catch lizards and holding out a sweaty hand to see if a passing butterfly will land for a moment. They love riding trikes and scooters on circuitous routes through a garden, the junglier the better. They like digging in dirt.

You should absolutely go read the whole thing. I think part of it is our mentality as adults. We think that if we put so much time and effort into a non-lawn garden, then it needs to be kept pristine and we can’t let the kids “ruin” it. We also do default to the “space to play ball” mentality, but there are lots of parks for that. Thinking about it, we had a huge “lawn” area south of the house (actually it was mowed weeds – farm, you know.) Yes, we occasionally went out and played kickball or baseball, but more often than not we were playing in the windbreak, in the vegetable garden where there was lots of mud, or in the tall weeds behind the barn.

What do you think? Would having something other than just lawn actually facilitate more outdoor play?

(P.S. – The guest post I linked to above is written by a woman who actually wrote a book on the subject and is promoting it in the post. I haven’t read the book and so I am not recommending it or otherwise. It looks interesting, but who knows how applicable it is to Kansas?!?)

Sadly, the August 8th event that was scheduled at the WATER Center is cancelled. We always enjoy going creeking, but due to the recent rainfall, the river is up too high to hold the event this week. I don’t know if we will be able to reschedule this event or not. I will have information about our September event soon!

 

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