Autumn leaves on a tree

Girls’ Nature Workshops Share a Love of Nature with the Next Generation of Young Women

Think back to your own childhood: How much time did you spend outside? The answer likely varies widely among people depending on where they grew up, their family lifestyle, and their personal inclinations. Now think about how much time the children you know and love spent outside. No matter how much or how little time you enjoyed in nature, it’s likely the kids of today are outside much, much less.

The entire structure of childhood has changed for reasons that range from increased emphasis on academics over playtime in elementary school to concern over allowing kids to play alone. The pandemic didn’t help. In-person activities were canceled, parks were closed, and families stayed home. The result is an entire generation suffering from what some scholars call “nature deficit disorder.”

Education experts at the Garden have been working in partnership with the Fort Worth Garden Club since 2018 to remedy this deficit for as many area girls as possible through the Girls’ Nature Workshop series. “This series is designed to build appreciation of nature, with a particular emphasis on horticulture and floriculture (the cultivation of flowers),” said Anna SoRelle, FWBG innovative learning manager for special programs. “The workshops teach students how people and cultures use plants by completing fun, creative projects.”

Several workshops are offered throughout the school year. Two upcoming workshops are “Tree Treasures” and “Holiday for the Birds.”

At “Tree Treasures” on Nov. 12, girls will discover the hidden treasures of trees by exploring leaves, bark and branches. They will explore the science of dendrochronology–using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in tree trunks to mark the passage of time–and make beautiful art prints with leaves.

At “Holiday for the Birds” on Dec.3, participants will learn fun facts about our feathered friends while creating eco-friendly bird treats and keeping warm with their own treats of cocoa and cider.

“A goal of the program is to build skills and confidence in working with natural materials among girls,” said SoRelle. It’s one step in combating nature deficit disorder and cultivating a love of the natural world among today’s young women.

Related Articles

Herbarium specimen from AABP project - Blakea spindet

Armchair Botany and the Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program: Volunteers Make Scientists’ Hard Work Accessible

Important botanical science happens in the field. Researchers tramp across habitats, sometimes in remote and rugged regions of the world, collect plant samples, document the distribution of species and study ecosystems in action. Later those scientists return to the lab with boxes of specimens, and a new and equally important phase of research begins. Scientists label, mount and digitize specimens to make them accessible to the global science community. They become a resource that can be studied in multiple contexts–as part of an ecosystem or as a member of a particular plant family, for example.

Read More »
Group of students practice tai chi

Meditation in Motion: Discovering Tai Chi

Slow, deliberate, beautiful movement is the essence of tai chi. A practice that melds the mind and the body, tai chi improves balance and muscle strength while reducing stress and calming the mind. And you can learn all about it in the Garden’s upcoming wellness series, 24-Form Tai Chi.

Read More »
Two yellow lemons on a tree

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Citrus Trees

Picture it: you wake on a lovely fall day, walk onto your patio and pick a Satsuma mandarin from your very own tree. You peel back back the bright orange skin and bite into a perfectly ripe, tart yet sweet, orange. This could be you–with a little time, a little knowledge and a citrus tree of your own. The good news? You can find the knowledge and the trees at the upcoming Fall Plant Sale. The time you’ll need to provide yourself.

Read More »
Spray of water from an outdoor fountain

The Wonder of Water: Take your Garden to the Next Level with a Water Feature

We love our water features at the Garden, especially in the heat of summer. The long, tranquil basin that greets guests as soon as they enter the gates, the gushing fountain that stands in the center of the Rose Garden, the serene koi ponds of the Japanese Garden—there’s nothing else like the relaxing sound and sight of water. What if you could bring that peace and serenity back home with you? With a little time and effort, you can—with water features for your home garden.

Read More »
Mother and daughters on the way to school

Strengthen Family Connections with Back-to-School Traditions

The start of a new school year can be both stressful and thrilling. Certainly for families with school-age children, it’s a time of nervous preparation, of anxiety about the year ahead, of shopping and scheduling and strategizing. But mixed into that stress is excitement about new things to learn and new friends to meet. To foster excitement and reduce anxiety, Education Program Coordinator Joanne Howard encourages families to mark the start of the new school year by establishing family traditions.

Read More »