A river runs through it…

Patch.com Post – August 2012

Family reunions call for equitable activities, meaning free activities, and nature is able to answer that call.  My mother called a family reunion, so we ventured down to the river, all 22 of us, plus a dog, in search of arrowheads and other treasures.  We had very young children and princesses in tow, along with several kids who don’t like to unplug for long.

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There was a moment of trepidation at the river’s edge, and then, in one glorious movement, everyone entered the shallow river, skipping rocks, flipping shells, happily exploring the river and it’s many wonders.  Nature is the great equalizer and the great individualizer: we each found something unique, and completely compelling to do, to the point of ignoring the first pouring rain in a 90-day drought.

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Watch the way children play outdoors very carefully, it’s easier to discern their learning modalities outdoors than it is indoors.  For example, if they are visual learners, they will be the first kids to spy the fish bones, or arrowheads.  If they are auditory learners, they will be the first to hear the airplane overhead.

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When visiting a river with extended family, always bring paperclips with you, for with paperclips, you can make “crawdad catchers’ and keep everyone entertained for hours. To make a “crawdad catcher” simply unfold a paperclip into the shape of a fishhook, tie a piece string to it, and fix a bit of meat to it.  Teenagers and toddlers alike can safely “fish” for crawdads, who pinch the meat with their claws and won’t let go, even when you lift them out of the water to watch their spiny legs claw frantically at thin air.

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The proper name for crawdad is crayfish, and surprisingly, Missouri is a biodiversity hotspot for them, largely due to our rivers, which are among the biggest and most beautiful spring-fed rivers in the world.  Sadly, our rivers are under siege, from many point sources, including monster vehicles with enormous wheels, that crush delicate creatures in their wake.

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Who will speak for the truffulla trees and crawling things, if no one takes kids crawdad fishing?

If not you, then who?

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What you can do:

Take your kids “crawdad fishing” – and remember to bring your paper clips.  Splash photos all over social media.

Start a family nature club – and bring all your friends crawdad fishing.  Make sure they bring their cameras.

Find restaurants that serve crayfish and ask where the crayfish come from.

Join any number of worthy organizations, like Missouri Stream Team, and help clean up our rivers.

Welcome to Green Spiral Tours:

an eco- adventure school

designed to connect

families with nature,

and people with their planet,

through fun family field trips.

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Field trips spiral the calendar,

 and are one-of-a-kind,

off-the-beaten track adventures in the Saint Louis area.

Typically a $10 / family donation

is requested as a tip

for the field trip leader.

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2010-09-22 Citygarden Rainbow Umbrella Arch

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Founded by nature teacher

Jessie Hoagland in 2008,

Green Spiral Tours offers a way

to supercharge your learning

about all things green in Saint Louis,

in the company of curious

and like-minded others.

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Feb 2017

marks the beginning of

Year Eight

for Green Spiral Tours,

and while families remain the central focus,

everyone is welcome

on any adventure at any time.

We have plenty of grandparents, nannies,

architects, landscapers

and yoga teachers on

any given adventure.

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To find out about the next field trip,

join the Green Spiral invitation list

by submitting the form below.

Emails come out about once per month,

or when inspiration and synchronicity

strike.

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The emails are fun and educational —

they give you the bigger picture,

while the field trips bring

big ideas

down to practice.

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Lots of people are inspired

to follow along

with their own adventures

at their own pace

and on their own schedules

based on the email newsletter.

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Unplug, play with your city

and get connected

to nature and each other.

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Scroll down to see where we’ve been,

and to collect ideas

about where you can go

on your own.

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2016 Best Photo

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And because “less is more,”

keep a sharp eye out

for Green Spiral emails,

and know that your email address

will never be sold or shared.

You can find out more

in the “About” section.

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  “Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!”

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