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This program may be scheduled for any age group and requires at least two weeks of advance notification due to limited center staff and volunteer availability. Participants in this program must be able to tolerate walking on loose sand soil for a distance of no less than .5 miles in the climate typical to the time of year in which the program is booked. Water, bug spray and sunblock are recommended. The length of this program is three hours.


Nature journals are a way for young naturalists to make and keep a record of their connection to the natural world. Nature journaling allows children to explore the scientific method of observing and recording and can also put them in touch with inner artistic ability for drawing and poetry. Journaling can also help with building the confidence of those with language difficulties. While nature journals are a personal record of one’s connection to the natural world, our inspiration for modern journaling comes from notable naturalists such as John Muir and Charles Darwin.

Pre-visit recommendations:

  1. Review the writing of John Muir and the founding of the Sierra Club
  2. Discuss phenology – the study of the “calendar” of natural events


  • PowerPoint slide show presentation on the history of nature journaling and phenology
  • Nature journal crafting workshop
  • Indoor exercise on recording information and how to be a good observer
  • One hour outdoor activity
  • Review and evaluation

Post Visit:

  • Continue to have children use nature journals for outdoor activities
  • Have a poetry session where children create poetry from an observation in their journal
  • Review writings of other naturalists: Gilbert White, William Bartram, Meriwether Lewis, John Wesley Powell, Susan Fennimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Burroughs, Edward Abbey, Mary Austin, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, Gary Snyder, Bill McKibben, Diane Ackerman, Gretel Ehrlich