Annual Letter to Our Friends

Friends,

The change of seasons has brought new and exciting opportunities to the Pratt Nature Center.   We are once again holding a weekend long Pratt- a- thon.  Starting Friday November 21st you can donate on line in the comfort of your own home OR you can stop by at our annual “PRATT-a THON.”

What is a Pratt-a-Thon?

Staff and volunteers will be camping out at the Pratt Center for 3 days straight.  We will report our activities live through social media.  (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube)  Three Days of events  will include: hikes, nature walks, campfire, nature documentaries, crafts,  kids nature movies, special guests, coffee, food, Happy hour, popcorn and of course…. Smores!

Can’t stop by? That’s okay…..You can donate on line at www.prattcenter.org or there is also the good old fashion method of sending it along through the USPS!


The benefits of children in nature:
*    Nature is important to children’s
      development –   intellectually,
     emotionally, socially,  spiritually, and
     physically.
*   Along with milk and vegetables, kids
     need a steady diet of rocks and
     worms.
*    Rocks need skipping. Holes need
      digging. Water needs splashing.
      Bugs and frogs and slimy stuff need
      finding.
*    Nature needs kids, kids need nature.
*    “We’re trying to grow environmental stewards AND a healthy community.”
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What a Year!!! As the need for nature in our lives grows, so does the work to be done.  In January we hired Haley as our almost full time environmental educator.  Haley hit the ground running, new programs, more field trips, together along with our support staff; we visited with thousands of school children in the greater Litchfield county area.  Topics vary greatly from lifecycles to the importance of buying local and natural, biodiversity, and orienteering. We made maple sugar, panned for gold, snow shoed  and studied the science of soil to name but a few.   We also began reaching out to area nursing homes and senior centers.  It doesn’t matter what age you are, we all reap the same benefits of time in nature.

 We go outside everyday, year round, regardless of the weather.  During the winter, homeschool, afterschool enrichment, preschool  programs and school vacation days are only interrupted long  enough to warm up with hot chocolate to the thump thump of the  clothes dryer.  Each year our summer camp grows, through  collaborations with schools, social services, community    organizations and the need for nature in our children’s lives.

 Lazy Summer Days The need for nature grew and so did summer  camp. As our collaborations grow so does the need for scholarships;  this year with your support we gave out over 225 weeks of summer  camp scholarships for children with financial need or children in  need of nature.   We spent warm summer days wading in the river,  exploring the mountains and meadows, foraging for wild edibles and  working and eating in our veggie garden.

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#PRATTKID The differences in other kids and what has now been coined #prattkid is remarkable.

What does it mean to be a Pratt Kid? That’s hard to define:  It means that you are comfortable with whom you are and you know the importance of your connection with the natural world. It means you can be different than everyone else and still feel comfortable in your own shoes.  It means your knees are skinned, your feet are dirty and a walk through nettles doesn’t make you cry. You can discuss the Fibonacci sequence and fractals at lunch and everyone knows what you are talking about.  It’s not a big deal if you accidently eat a handful of dirt or keep crickets in your pocket. No one ever says get down from that tree or put that stick down.   You know your mint from your night shade, you can play the didgeridoo and you chew on wood sorrel for a snack.   You are confident persistent, inquisitive, and as research shows of all who spend time in nature you are smarter, happier and healthier than those that don’t.

We need your help!  I was recently told by someone that I can’t save the world. I disagree. My oldest son sent me a photo of the following quote painted on a still standing piece of the Berlin wall.  Vielen kleine Leute die in vielen kleinen Orten viele kleine Dinge tun, können das Gesicht der Welt verändern

“Many small people who in many small places do many small things that can alter the face of the world.”

There is much work to be done and with your support and the support and collaboration of this community …..

We are on our way.

 

Pratt Wish List 2014

Wild Medicinal, Guest Presenter $250

Fencing (to keep the goats from escaping) $300.00

Nature Books and Field Guides $100.00

Summer Camp Sponsor $250.00

Monarch Caterpillars         $25.

Archery Supplies  $150.

Campout Dinner (Organic Chicken, Veggies and  Watermelon) $75.00

One monthly land payment $550.00

Hay                        $50.

Teepee                  $2500.

Vegetable Seeds  $100Frog Nets (25)      $25 each

Classroom Greenhouse $15000.00

Our wish list is very long….donations are always appreciated….Marshmallows, Chocolate, Graham Crackers, Seeds, Potting soil,  Craft Supplies, Paper, Carrots, Romaine Lettuce (for Bruno) can be dropped  off in the office year round.

 Message from the Cows

We love when friends and families come to visit the Pratt Center, and  find us in our brand new field. Watching everyone enjoy and benefit  from this fantastic place is just as rewarding as a great big field of  grass to graze in. We need all your help to keep things moo-ving  along year after year!Come see us, and all our other friends, on  November 21, 22 and 23. Every donation counts!

Love,

The Cows

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