Northwest Earth Institute has long believed that connecting with nature and discovering a sense of place are essential in finding solutions to today’s environmental challenges. That’s why we’re excited to be part of The Intertwine Alliance – a coalition of 150 organizations working together to integrate nature more deeply into the Portland metro region, the place NWEI calls home.
This month, The Intertwine Alliance is hosting a Daycation campaign – inviting each of us to discover natural areas near home, to go on local tours and to find new hidden gems. But we know that much our the NWEI community is spread throughout the world.
Here are 4 ways to rediscover a sense of place, regardless of where you live:
1. Take a “Daycation” this month & seek out a new local place. For those in the Portland area, learn more here and join other locals in discovering new places and hidden gems. For those in other bioregions, create your own ‘daycation’ by intentionally exploring a new natural area close to home. Is there someplace you’ve always wanted to visit? Reconnect with your local history and place by spending a day appreciating your home place. Invite others to join.
2. Take a slow neighborhood walk. If you find yourself driving more than biking or walking, it can be a nice repreive to slow down and take your time noticing the details of where you live. A neighborhood walk is a great place to start – taking time to explore new streets and notice the plants and flowers growing.
3. Intentially notice the things you appreciate about where you live. Find a quiet place and journal about some of the things you are grateful for – or draw some of what you see or experience. Or, sit quietly and observe.
4. Gather a group and participate in NWEI’s Reconnecting With Earth discussion course. Reconnecting With Earth explores how our cultural beliefs and personal values affect the way we view and treat Earth. Together, you’ll discuss how our well-being is inextricably linked to the well-being of our planet.
Whatever you choose to do, make a point to deepen your connection to your home place this month. We hope it will engender an even deeper respect for the planet and the place you live – and a renewed commitment to act. We believe even these small gestures of connecting to place point us in the direction of real and lasting change.