The Children's Nature Institute, Collaboration Begins

L.A. Natural History Museum, North Campus project renovations, due to open 2013.

Live animal demonstration at the L.A. Natural History Museum, California King Snake - 'Oreo'

I recently began an association and collaboration with The Children’s Nature Institute (CNI) in Los Angeles. Since 1985, CNI has been at the forefront of the movement to get children outside to learn and explore, and care about the environment. To date CNI has served over 300,000 children, their parents and teachers throughout Los Angeles County and opened minds to the living world. You can read more about CNI at their website which is linked here in this article.

My attraction to CNI is two-fold. First, my background and love for nature and second to bring my sense and awareness of nature to children and their families. I believe that at this young age nature can instill courage, confidence and character for any endeavour a child might choose to explore – whether as a child or adult. Nature can provide a sensibility that is necessary for all humans to be compassionate.

Currently I am working on a couple of program concepts for CNI. These concepts are in there early development phases – I will be sharing them with you in the coming months as they progress.

Recently I joined CNI for a docent enrichment session at The Los Angeles Natural History Museum. This included an instructional exchange with the Manager of Informal Learning Dan Keeffe at the museum. We took a behind the scenes tour of the Natural History Museum’s new ‘Dinosaur Hall’ and ‘Age of Mammals’ exhibits. We discussed key ingredients to a successful tour for children, such as: focusing the descriptive information coming from the kids (What do they think) as opposed to the docent reciting facts and data about an exhibit.

The tour also included a live outdoor animal exhibit – a California King Snake (Named ‘Oreo’), pictured above.

The exhibit took place at the Museum’s ‘North Campus’ renovation area (Also pictured above). The North Campus project opens in 2013. The project includes the redevelopment and transformation of 3.5 acres of asphalt parking areas to a living habitat. Check it out at the Museum’s web-site which is linked here in this article.

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