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A Remedy for Nature Deficit Disorder

Guest blogger Dawn Slack wrote the following piece about Letha’s Fund, a terrific program of Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS). The fund facilitates schoolchildren’s nature-based excursions and youth-led projects. I am always happy to hear the latest on Letha’s Fund, because my Dad, Donovan Miller, was instrumental in setting it up. Check it out, and lend your support in his name if you feel so led.

Guest Post by Dawn Slack, Youth Outreach Chair for Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society (INPAWS)
 

garlicmustardpull_Ingraham

Kids initiated a garlic mustard pull with the help of Letha’s Fund
 
Knowledge Is Power
An essential INPAWS role is teaching our youth the value of our natural world, and connecting them to nature. Our members understand how nourishing it is to watch the sun rise and set, to set your hand in a riffle and watch water course downstream, to witness a flower blossom, or glimpse a dragonfly skimming the water’s surface.
 
We understand that experiencing nature enhances our ability to reason and solve problems. We know how being immersed in nature relieves our stress and energizes us.
 
We need our youth to understand these things too.
 

School outing at Winterhaven Wildflowers and Monarch Preserve

School outing at Winterhaven Wildflowers and Monarch Preserve
 
We Save Only What We Love
Our youth have little opportunity to bond with nature. Bombarded with technology that, sadly, discourages outdoor activities, they need encouragement and assistance getting outside.
 
In 2013 Letha’s Fund enabled almost 2,000 youth to visit natural areas or participate in outdoor experiences. And over the past five years Letha’s Fund has facilitated approximately 6,800 youth to learn about our amazing natural world.
 

Cold Spring students dig in, planting 400 plugs of forbs and sedges

Cold Spring students dig in, planting 400 plugs of forbs and sedges
 
Help Us Empower More Youth
Help us invest in a healthy future for our environment, one full of diversity and natural splendor, understood and loved by its future caretakers. Take a moment to learn about Letha’s Fund, share the flyer, and spread the word about such a wonderful program that is possible because of your aid.
 
Learn about Letha’s Fund on our website or send us your questions at lethasfund@inpaws.org or call us. Remember, knowledge is power. So pass it along, and help us help the next generation get into nature.
 

Harshman_kids_Ford

Harshman kids plant seedlings grown by Cold Spring School students with the help of INPAWS stalwart Donovan Miller (my dad!)
 
We will save only what we love;
We will love only what we understand;
We will understand only what we have been taught.
—Senegalese environmentalist Baba Dioum
 
All photos courtesy of INPAWS.
 
Postscript: To read my dad’s invitation to INPAWS members to share their love of nature with children, click here and search on “Expertise Not Required.”

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