National Wildlife Federation hike and seek a success in Chicago

09-27-2011 // Ted Nelson

This excerpt is from

Almost a hundred people, including forty children, showed up for the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) hike and seek event in Chicago on Saturday. The point of the event was to get families and children excited about the outdoors with a one mile hike through the Beamis Woods Forest preserve in Western Springs, Illinois.

The adventure began at base camp with displays from NWF, REI, Midewin, and the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab & Education non-profit organization. The raptor center delighted the young ones with live owls, hawks, and falcons.

On the one mile trail, five booths were set up, and each booth had activities and information on a particular animal group. The booths consisted of one for mammals, one for reptiles, one for amphibians, one for plants, and one for birds. The author of this article led the activity and information at the amphibian booth. Read this blog post on my personal experiences as “frogman.”

Many, including President Obama, fear children and families are becoming disconnected with nature. There are so many activities for children including video games, internet, school activities, and sports, so it is difficult for families to make time to get outdoors. If they do have the time, sometimes they do not know where to start. A one mile hike through a local forest preserve is a great way to get started and get families excited about nature.

Karoline Hurd, Senior Manager of Events for NWF said “It was gratifying to see the parents embrace the stop and study activities as much as the children!” The first step in getting children excited about the outdoors is getting parental involvement. Children most often follow the hobbies of their parents.

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Related Resources
  • Hike and Seek
    Inspire your kid's sense of adventure

    Spend a fun-filled Saturday morning with your children on a 1-2 mile hike exploring nature for your kids’ health and happiness Appropriate for kids of all ages, especially toddlers to age 12!