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Sharing Nature “Just Outside My Door” With My Neighbors

I’ve started hosting outdoor nature activities for the residents in my development, focusing on fun activities for the children. Today, we built fairie houses and dragon castles!

This is the fourth “program” I’ve organized for our neighbors. The idea started with my volunteer work at state and county parks, and then with a part-time naturalist position. If I’m enjoying the ‘nature just outside my door,’ why not bring my volunteer work straight to my home grounds?The development where I live is 25 years old. We have a lot of open space and wooded areas for a suburban housing group. We have a variety of trees; most of which are now 25 years old. Several of us are lawn-free: using our front and backyard areas for gardens. Birds are common. There’s a lot to see here.

I hope to bring awareness, not only for people’s enjoyment, but to foster conservation. Maybe more people will begin to use native plants in their landscaping, create more of a wildlife habitat, and just enjoy the outdoors more.

Here are some scenes from today’s event – inspiring children to use what they find in nature to create whimsical homes.

Getting started:

We used a large variety of natural items: bark, twigs, leaves, branches, sweet gum tree “monkey balls”, pine cones, pine needles, seeds and beans. And no fairie home is complete without a splash of glitter!

Some of our materials:

It was so much fun being creative that I barely remembered to take pictures. Here are a few of the finished vignettes:

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