Friday, January 23, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words

If you are following our fledgling forays into web 2.0 technology, I hope you take the time to enjoy the visual imagery. When I talk about the amazing passion of some of "our people" I am often thinking one of our most tireless cheerleaders - Rachel Banai .
An internationally-recognized photographer, she has been cataloging the transformation of our site from dumpsite to parkland, on a near-daily basis for the last six years. You can see a small sampling of some of her images in the flash movie on our home page.

Starting January 31st, Rachel returns to teach her popular Nature Photography classes in the Teaneck Creek Park. The classes meet either Saturday or Sunday morning in a series of five week cycles, and they are amazing! Part indoors for review, part outside in the park, the experience will leave you with an incredible urge to drop everything else in your life and just take pictures!

The Conservancy is grateful to the Puffin Foundation for underwriting the cost of the tuition so that we can offer it to our community for a very modest fee. Visit the Puffin Cultural Forum for dates and details.

Til then, see you on the trails!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Say it isn't so...

By now, many of you have heard about Richard Louv and his ground-breaking book "Last Child in the Woods". He argues that children today are often disconnected from nature, opting instead for anyone of the myriad of technological choices in our plugged-in world: television, computers, video games, cell phones, and ipods. In the early pages of his book he recounts how a fourth grader expressed his preference to stay inside: "...cause that's where all the electrical outlets are."

Now this today from a Canadian newspaper:
The publisher of the Oxford Junior Dictionary has sent words like "beaver" and "dandelion" the way of the dodo bird. In the latest version of its dictionary for schoolchildren, Oxford University Press has cut nature terms such as heron, magpie, otter, acorn, clover, ivy, sycamore, willow and blackberry.In their place, the university publishing house has substituted more modern terms, like the electronic Blackberry, blog, MP3 player, voicemail and broadband.
Canadian wildlife artist and conservationist Robert Bateman, whose Get to Know Program has been inspiring children to go outdoors and "get to know" their wild neighbours for more than a decade, said the decision is telling kids that nature just isn't that important."This is another nail in the coffin of human beings being acquainted with nature," Bateman said in an interview with The Canadian Press."If you can't name things, how can you love them? And if you don't love them, then you're not going to care a hoot about protecting them or voting for issues that would protect them."
I particularly like that they have cut "blackberry"- the fruit/shrub, but added "Blackberry", the handheld. Read the full article here: .

What do you think? I'd vote for the dandelion any day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

While setting up a blog yesterday, it occurred to me that blogging could be a very interesting way to record the different migratory species that people observe passing through the Conservancy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Greetings from the Creek

January is so much about new beginnings. The ideas and possibilities that stretch before us seem unlimited and so possible.

The volunteers and staff of the Teaneck Creek Conservancy have returned from the holiday break renewed and energized. The months of 2009 stretch before us like an unmarked canvas and we stand paint brushes at the ready!

If you are on our e-mail blast list you know that one of our "resolutions" in this new year is to better communicate with our stakeholders. As a 501 (c)(3) organization we recognize our commitment to serve you, our community.

Towards that end we are taking advantage of every tool at our disposal, including the wealth of opportunities that the Internet provides. Please visit our website, (, sign up for our e-newsletter, and tune in here, at our new blog: Conversations at the Creek. Let us know what you would like to see happen at the Teaneck Creek Conservancy this year!