Geographies of Children

Feelings Towards Nature

The children have a unique opportunity of utilizing a park that lies adjacent to the school as a resource for their studies. Whether they were in the park for a class, or in their free time, with friends/family or alone, most of the kids expressed an attitude and relationship with the park with memories and stories to support their view. There were two distinct feelings towards the park: as a soothing and calm place with generally good memories of reading and walking around, and as a place that had the tendency to be dangerous or somewhere to use caution, with memories of falling or getting hurt.

When asked to think of some words or what they thought of when they think of the park they said:

“Um…peaceful, calm, explore, um, fun, and enjoyable place.” –Student 6

“I think about trees, nature, and water, and animals. I like whatever spots because the park is nice and calming. I like the trails because we get to see some animals. There’s like a field with an entrance it’s on the other side of PH and I think if you go down there is like a patch of grass and so like one time I had lunch there when we were doing the race and it was very, very peaceful.” –Student 7

“I could tell you right now there are no parts I don’t like other than the bugs because I love being in nature where the wind and the trees and yeah I just love being in nature. I could go to a park and just sit and read a book and would feel so entertained, calm, and peaceful. I like all the parts.” –Student 7

“….then we went down to the park and we wrote down what we heard and it was called, we were doing hearing with our eyes and we closed our eyes and listened for five minutes and then we wrote down what we heard.” –Student 15

“We did the run for the arts, and it’s like what I just said about where we imagined-not imagined, where we heard stuff. And we did the, but it was like in first grade. It was really fun, it was really relaxing too, cause like, you got to, like, your inner self was with nature. And it’s like, be one with nature.” –Student 25

The children associated the park as a place to use caution when they recalled experiences of falling or getting hurt:

“When I think of the park I think of the rock that I used to be scared of when I was in first grade because it looked like the rock was floating but it was barely on another rock. It was sturdy but it wasn’t like that sturdy, but you would walk on it and it’s fine. And I remember falling on it but I didn’t fall off of it and I saw a dead raccoon.” –Student 4

“There’s an area where its like rock over here and it’s covered in like water because when it rains it like overflows but other than that it’s like this little creek. It’s always really slippery ’cause there’s like algae on it, and there’s like an area where you’re like “Oh yeah, it’s dry” and you walk on it and you slip and fall.” –Student 4  

“Sometimes, they play on the rocks, sometimes people are scared, sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s not. When you go further that way, you go farther this way, you go to… where do you go? You keep on walking and you find, you find a pond, and there’s fishes in it.” –Student 21

“At the end of third grade, we got to go down to the rocks for a few days since we were acting like kindergarteners. So, we got down there, but people kept getting hurt. I put my hand down on glass.”-Student 2