Community Agriculture Alliance: Embracing slowing down
Summer is in full swing, and it feels like every living thing is busy.
The wildflowers are taking turns blooming and showcasing their colors. The pollinators are flying, fluttering or buzzing with excitement. This also is a busy time for people taking advantage of our limited frost-free days and tending their gardens that produce beautiful flowers and bountiful vegetables.
Right now, our gardens are growing quickly, and we struggle a little to maintain them. Sometimes it’s challenging to keep up with the gardens because they grow so fast, and other times it’s because there are so many other exciting things to squeeze into the day.
Kids are similar to our gardens in summer, they seem to grow so quickly and have boundless energy. Their minds are growing and expanding as quickly as their bodies, and engaging them in gardening, exploring a river bank, learning a new sport or bringing a book on a hike are all great ways to engage their minds.
Another fantastic way for kids to enjoy summer is attending a camp that encourages kid’s curiosity and desire to explore and learn. Learning happens in so many different ways and having time to explore new ideas in a hands-on way captivates us all.
Utilizing the outdoors as a classroom immerses kids in nature and inspires genuine curiosity. We all know that learning has no boundaries and it happens every day in many different ways, yet sometimes, we need to slow down to allow space for true learning. Working for Yampatika I’m fortunate to observe our campers enjoying these opportunities.
We all know that you don’t need to be a kid to allow curiosity and learning to happen. I will admit that I’m often one of the people out searching for an adventure on a bike, and unless I’m working, I rarely walk places because you can go faster on a bike and cover more ground.
A friend of mine in the Valley is an amazing naturalist, and when first getting to know one another, she often asked if I ever made time to slow down to appreciate the beauty. Life can get so busy that I feel fortunate for a few gentle reminders to slow down and soak in the beauty surrounding us.
Steamboat Springs is an ideal place to slow down and learn from an area expert. Whatever your interest, age or athletic ability, there is an event or program to satisfy your curiosity.
There are plenty of opportunities to listen to live music or enjoy an education program to learn about natural history or local history. Yampatika offers a variety of programs throughout the summer to help us slow down, appreciate the beauty surrounding us, be amazed by nature and learn something new.
I hope you join me and listen to the wise advice of my friend and make a little more time each week to slow down, smell the flowers, take in the view and learn something new.
Kellie Gorman is program director for Yampatika.
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