While social distancing, get closer to nature
This spring people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life have a shared mission: stay at home. For many of us, taking care of each other by staying apart has made it a little more challenging to care for ourselves. We rely on social connections, commitments, and activities for inspiration, motivation, entertainment, and reassurance in good times, and bad.
But we have another support system right outside our doors. We can find inspiration in the night sky, motivation in birds that migrate thousands of miles to nest in our yards, entertainment in a chorus of spring peepers, and reassurance in a cheerful yellow daffodil signaling the return of spring.
For those of us juggling work, parenting, and schooling — all from home — our backyard or neighborhood green space offers an extension of “homeroom,” a living lab for lessons about biology, ecology, and scientific observation.
For those of us who have unwillingly become hermits, the outdoors offers an opportunity to commune with new companions: the constellations, regular visitors to our bird feeders, and writers who chose to immerse themselves in nature to better understand their place in the world.
For all of us, nature offers a free walk-in clinic — or walk-out clinic, as it were — providing an endless supply of proven physical and psychological health benefits that we need now more than ever.
Our mission at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for you: the American people. In this time of social distancing, that means connecting you with the natural resources in your own community, and showing you how much they enrich our lives.
And yes, we deliver!
This spring, while you are staying at home, we’re sharing ideas for things to do to feel more at home in nature, including:
- Honing your observation skills
- Surveying for plants
- Digging into the science of soil
- Becoming a citizen scientist
- Living vicariously through backyard birds
- Looking through the eyes of nature writers
- Identifying invasive plants
- Exploring the colors of nature
- Frog songs as a signal of spring
We hope you take comfort in the fact that although our lives are on hold, nature continues to go about its business.
I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall —
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice
Excuse me, I have work to do.
- Mary Oliver