5 ways to connect with nature this spring

Spring has sprung so get outside, get dirty and connect with the nature you love!

By LaTresse Snead, Director, Volunteer Programs & Community Outreach

Flowers blooming, birds singing and sunshine lingering long into the afternoons ... there are many reasons that the spring seems to lift your spirits. What’s more? It's the best time to get outside and connect with the nature you love!

This and every April, I’m trying to rally people all around the globe to join The Nature Conservancy in celebrating the beauty and wonder of our natural world in honor of Earth Day.

Here are my top 5 tips to get outside and enjoy some quality time with mother nature:

1. Get dirty
Patrick Cavan Brown for The Nature Conservancy© Patrick Cavan Brown for The Nature Conservancy
Dirt contains a microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae. Studies have shown that exposure to this bacteria can increase the levels of seratonin in our brains, helping to relax, soothe and calm, and it also can help improve cognitive function.

A great way to get your hands dirty? Volunteer! It’s also an opportunity to be a part of the on-the-ground conservation action you're supporting. This month, committed nature-lovers like you are giving back at Conservancy volunteer events across the country. And I can’t think of a better way to honor Earth Month than by planting a tree!

2. Take a hike
© Ian Shive for The Nature Conservancy© Ian Shive for The Nature Conservancy
Spending time outdoors in nature helps renew and rejuvenate our bodies, minds and spirits. Studies show that nature reduces stress, helps behavior problems, fights childhood obesity, and more.

April is a perfect time to get outside and experience the waters, trails and landscapes that make up nature’s playground. The Nature Conservancy owns preserves around the country—many of them open to the public with hiking trails, kayak launches, interpretive signs and more. Check out some of our preserves near you.

3. Take a closer look
© Ian Shive© Ian Shive
You can look at a calendar to know when spring is coming, but scientists look for cues and signs in the natural world to let them know when seasons are shifting.

Birds singing, frogs croaking and beautiful wildflowers blooming are just a few of the ways that nature announces the arrival of spring. Step outside and look for these signs of spring near you.

4. Live nature
© The Nature Conservancy (Devan King)© The Nature Conservancy (Devan King)
Show us and your friends how you connect with nature by tagging your photos on social media with our #LiveNature hashtag or upload them directly to our site.

5. Remember the birds and the bees
© S.L. Belden© S.L. Belden
Everyone knows the birds and the bees are important. But do you know why? According to the USDA bees (and other pollinators) add $15 billion to crop production nationally each year. Meanwhile, migratory birds serve as important indicators clean air and water, fertile soils and abundant wildlife.

Growing native plants in your garden can help provide food, shelter and protection for the birds and bees — not to mention butterflies, frogs, and other native wildlife. Check out our interactive plant finder and learn what plants to use to get your native garden started.

Remember, though, that although the signs of spring make us think of nature – really every day that you get outside and appreciate nature is “Earth Day.” Want to continue to be connected? Sign up for e-news and connect with nature all year long.

Tags: Earth Day | Spring

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