Earlier this month, we took part in the 18th Celebration of Everglades Day. We spent a wonderful afternoon experiencing conservancy at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is one of the few left in our country and is a wonderful place to observe the beauty of nature in its form of Florida swamp!
Loxahatchee has approximately 144,000 acres of northern Everglades and cypress swamp, a beautiful boardwalk of ancient cypress, an education center and store, several small pavilions for a picnic and a pier for fishing–including its own share of gator sightings.
We have been visiting this refuge since my children were babies because it gives us an opportunity to admire the beauty of the undisturbed ecosystem of South Florida. Many kinds of animals call this place home. Otters, raccoons, the endangered snail kite, migratory birds like the winter warblers, foxes, bobcats, and many other species find refuge in this place.
Safeguarding the Magic
The crucial role of places like this is rooted in our need to appreciate and respect nature’s role in our lives. Conservancy talks about the principle of preserving natural ecosystems and looks to safeguard the magic and life in these places, to preserve their place in our environment, but also to maintain it in its pristine form for future generations.
Sadly, it seems in our world not everyone has noticed the importance of conservancy. Constant urban growth and our uncaring practices have already started to endanger the integrity of these refuges. Any failures to protect these areas, will radically transform the place and leave us without open areas to teach our children about natural ecosystems.
How Families Can Make a Difference
The importance of visiting national parks and refuges is crucial now more than ever. In an age where technology is part of our everyday life, we need to be intentional in choosing to spend more time outdoors. Thanks to president Obama, my daughter who is in fourth grade, received her ‘Every Kid in a Park‘ pass to visit for free all Federal Parks and Lands. This card will entitle the children and their family to enter for free to any of the federal owned parks and refuges around the United States.
This initiative is essential to encourage families to head back to our natural areas and to love them! There is no way to start loving something if you don’t know it! And when you love something, you will want to protect it! By encouraging children and families to visit natural areas, we expose them first hand to the rich and wonderful world of nature.
A stroll in nature is proven to lower stress levels, to educate, and to provide bonding experiences to everybody. I hope that we, as multicultural families, can start caring and preserving our local ecosystems by supporting local laws that protect them, by implementing good practices in our everyday life to protect our water and nature, and by visiting one of these places at least once a month, for the sake of our world and our own health.
You can start now by watching the wonderful Earth Day video that many of our children created for Multicultural Kid Blogs, with many tips to start caring for our planet. I bet you would enjoy it!
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