Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Surprises

Remember the "I should have had a V-8!" commercials? That's the kind of reaction that I had yesterday when I read this article in the NYTimes about the benefits of time outdoors for children.

It reminded me of the time I raised the question at my daughter's middle school several years ago when I found out the students weren't allowed out of the building during the day (despite the fact that the school bordered a large, well-equipped county park). "Oh, there's just no way to keep the students out of trouble if we let them go outside" is what I was told. -Wow-

Let's hope the educators and administrators who have the lion-share of our children's waking hours sit up and take notice. The Teaneck Creek Park is 46 acres of nature right here in our own backyard, only a stone's throw away from over 1000 students in Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Hawthorne Elementary school. Have you taken a walk today?

To learn more about the movement to get our children outdoors visit No Child Left Inside and Ricard Louv's Children & Nature Network.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Promises Kept

Even though I strongly believe in working towards balance in all things, especially my work vs home life, this holiday weekend I find myself committed to being in the office to meet and greet the birders participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count and I am reminded why I love this job so much.

It's the people! Not the endless paperwork, or the long meetings, or the many days when I don't even step a toe outside. It's the people who come out, even on a grey day in February, to find the beauty in this park. Their passion and joy for this little green oasis in our community spreads through me with a warm glow. Thanks! It's great to see you.

Spring is rising and the park is filled with the signs. More than one friend has reported their first robin sighting. The photography class tells me they've spied snowdrops.

I'm watching the buds on the trees! Set in the autumn when everyone is distracted by the riot of fall colors, the buds take form. All winter long they sit exposed to the elements, poised, waiting to take advantage of just the right tempertaure, sunlight, and moisture. Ready to burst back into control. It won't be long now.

Check out friend and Teaneck Creek member Marta McDowell's blog. Today she's talking about buds too. And she does it so well!

"The buds, however, are darling. Even more darling in February than May, because of their promise that in a mere five weeks the light will equal the darkness in the great stretch towards Spring."

My valentine gift to you!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

got birds?

The Teaneck Creek Conservancy loves its birds, especially at this time of year. A brilliant flash of red against the snow, or goldfinches in their winter colors never fail to inspire. Who cares about the ground hog seeing his shadow, I'd much rather watch the birds as a hopeful sign of spring.

Join fellow bird-watchers across the nation next week for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon, the program is a citizen-science project that takes a real-time snapshot of birds across the continent from February 13th through 16th. For more information about the program visit:

Come by the park at 10:00am on any of those days and we'll be happy to start you off with a warm cup of cocoa, the necessary forms, and a map of the park. If we're not here, look for the forms in our Membership Box (in the Puffin Way parking lot). And if you like, leave you completed forms back in the same box, and we'll enter the data online for you.

See you on the trails!