The Boon of Nature during Challenging Times…

Getting outside in nature is beneficial for so many reasons, but during this COVID-19 outbreak, it’s truly a precious gift! You and your family can enjoy fresh air, sunshine, natural beauty, and bonding adventures, all while avoiding the coronavirus and maintaining the social distancing recommended by the CDC. Plus, getting out in nature helps reduce stress and anxiety (not that any of us are experiencing those these days)! So put on some good walking shoes, pack a picnic, and head outside!

Although the Nature School is closed temporarily, the trails at Moose Hill Farm are still open! Maybe your child can lead you on a hike at the farm to show you their favorite spot. If you’re unfamiliar with the farm, here’s a link to the trail map. The Woodland Trail (in blue on the map) is a pleasant and undulating U-shaped trail with one entrance off the Power Line Connector (utility road) and the other off the Old Summit Road Trail (which leads to the Cellar Hole — one of our favorite “playgrounds” and also marked on the map).

If you want to go farther afield, The Trustees has about 118 properties across the state, and the types of properties vary greatly. There are public gardens, recreational properties, beaches, historic homes, and working farms. Here’s a list and here’s all the downloadable maps. There’s even a Trustees App you can download. (very cool to see where you are on the trail in real time)!

It seems there are lots of things we can’t do these days, but we still are able to enjoy the outdoors with our families, and that is a real boon to my heart (as was this white-breasted nuthatch eating from hand this past weekend — photo attached). I hope to see you all on the trails (though about 3–6 feet away 😊)!

Very much looking forward to when we can adventure together again,

Maura O’Gara, Trustees and Cooperative Nature School Naturalist