Whether you live in a city or in the countryside, along the coast or in the middle of the forest, you can have a great relationship with nature. And no matter how good your relationship with nature already is, you can make it even better!
Below is a list of questions that will help you do this by encouraging you to think about organisms, places, and activities that you might be taking for granted—things that might seem ordinary because you have gotten used to them, when actually they are incredible!
Although you could answer the questions out loud, we hope you will create visual responses—for example, by drawing a picture or constructing your answer out of LEGO ® or other building blocks. No matter what form your answer takes, we hope you come up with lots of fun and interesting ideas, which you share with people around you so that they can build a better relationship with nature, too*.
What is your favourite species? (For this and the next question, you can’t select humans or any animal that you have as a pet, no matter how much you might love them! Think about animals, plants, fungi—even microbes!—that you might encounter in nature.) Why is this your favourite—is there an interesting fact that you can share about this organism? If not, see if you can learn something new about this species and then share it with a friend or family member.
What is a species that has had a big impact on your life? If you are having a hard time answering, it might help to think about how organisms have influenced one of the following aspects of your daily routine: food, medicine, getting work done, making crafts, or keeping your environment healthy. How would your life change if this species weren’t in it?
What is a species that humans have had a big impact on? You might think of a relationship that you yourself have had with wildlife, or you might think of an example that involves human activities more generally. Can you think of any situations where humans have affected many different species at the same time or in the same place? Do you think that humans tend to have a positive or negative impact on other organisms?
What is your favourite place to encounter nature? No place is off-limits—it can be as near or as far, as big or as small, as you like. If you don’t have a favourite place, maybe you could think of some spots to explore. For example, you could visit each room in your apartment or house to see which window looks out on the largest number of birds flying past in a 5-minute period, or you could step outside your front door and see which side of the road has the largest number of fungi, mosses, or plants growing in the cracks. No matter which place you choose, think about what makes it so special— what sorts of species do you find there, and what interesting things are they doing?
How can you ensure that any place is a good place to enjoy nature? This might involve noticing, enjoying, and having a positive impact on other species wherever you go. What could you do to achieve those goals?