Children have become increasingly disconnected with
nature. Most children can easily identify hundreds of
corporate logos but cannot identify more than a handful of the
plants and animals in their own backyard, according to the Children
in Nature Network.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is giving a new type
of workshop that aims to combat this trend and reconnect Vermont's
young children with nature. The program, entitled Growing Up WILD:
Exploring Nature with Young Children, teaches early childhood
educators how to incorporate nature and wildlife into their daily
lesson plans. This project is modeled on three similar
programs offered by the Fish & Wildlife Department, Project
WILD, Flying WILD, and Aquatic WILD.
"We're building on the success of our other WILD training
workshops," said Ali Thomas, education coordinator for the Fish
& Wildlife Department. "Those projects were designed for
teachers and environmental educators teaching K-12 students, while
the new Growing Up WILD program is geared towards curriculum for
Growing Up WILD was developed with the vision of expanding the
culture of early childhood education to embrace learning in the
outdoors. According to the program's website, Growing Up WILD
"builds on children's sense of wonder about nature and invites them
to explore wildlife and the world around them."
"The program's activities are fun and easy," added
Thomas. "They creatively address concepts in science, physical
education, and literature though activities such as outdoor
explorations and art projects. Whether you're a school teacher or
an educator at a nature center, this guide is an effective teaching
resource in any setting."
For more information, visit
To schedule a workshop, contact Ali Thomas at 802-371-9975 or