I spent all of May spending outside. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I spent A LOT of time outside in May for the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Challenge. I partnered with them, and asked people to write love letters to nature and was floored daily by the responses. I’d scroll through Instagram and Twitter (using: #30x30challenge and #lovenature) and revel in the beauty of the natural world and in how and where people spent their 30 minutes/day in nature. It was so wonderful.
I had the most lovely wrap-up meeting with Aryne Sheppard, David Suzuki Foundation’s Senior Public Engagement Specialist, and an absolute gem of a human being, and she shared the stats with me:
- 68 countries took part
- Nearly 13,000 individuals registered
- 821 schools registered (think of how many students that is!!)
- 463 workplaces registered.
My heart is full to bursting. Truly. That is a whole lot of people spending time in the natural world, thinking and reflecting on what it means to them, and how it changes and shapes who they are.
I generally spend a lot of time outside with my 15-month-old, but there was something about the CHALLENGE part of it that transformed our time outside. There was intention. I biked to parks I’ve never been to. We spent a lot of time exploring. My son discovered ants. And tree bark and pinecones (both of which he infatuated with!). We planted a garden (including milkweed!). We spent so much time by the river, by the lake, in Toronto’s High Park. There were near-daily picnics. And on the one day I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes outside, I felt cagey and cooped up and it furthered my resolve to be outside, really be outside. It is truly an extraordinary practice and I feel so grateful for the DSF Challenge for the big huge reminder.
Over the month of May, we watched the tulips, the daffodils and the allium bloom, then the lilacs and the forget-me-nots. My son ate his weight in dandelion seeds (we’re still working on blowing the seeds, not eating them like a lollipop).
BARK! Jack’s newest discovery.
PS: Check out these incredible letters students wrote to nature (and these are such a small fraction of the letters DSF received!)