From the Field: Let it Go

From the Field: Let it Go

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing nature connection stories from the field! We asked our staff to share the stories that are currently on their minds and hearts.

Today we are sharing a beautiful story from one of our staff on the Bridge to Nature program, which serves our community’s students from low-income families and meets them where they already are, at our partner organization sites and at local schools.

Going outdoors is one of the best ways to keep kids excited about learning and to build their connection with the natural world.

"There are a lot of ways to connect with nature and though this one may seem more unusual its value will be recognizable to many.

During the Alisal Fire we headed south to Rincon in search of better air quality. The same winds that were problematic along the Gaviota Coast were driving sets of enormous waves. The waves were safely crashing 100 feet offshore sending smaller foamy rollers into the shallower water where the kids were playing.

Early on one boy picked up a large six foot long piece of driftwood and proceeded to carry it "strongman" style, above his head, for the better part of two hours. Periodically he would slam the log onto the beach and yell from the depth of his belly. Then he would stand in the surf in a power stance and yell at the top of his lungs out at the waves. Then he would pick up his log, hoist it above his head and carry on.

Eventually, several other kids came along and helped him pick up an even bigger log and they all held it above their heads together while ankle deep in the cold ocean waves. I wondered how much stronger they felt collectively....

When I watch the Pacific waves, I often think of the energy that is being transported thousands of miles to be released on our shores. Where does it go?

Watching this boy yell out into the ocean, I couldn't help wondering what he had been carrying and how good it must have felt to let it go."

Photo and story shared by Andrew Lindsey, Director of School Based Programs & Lead Program Staff 

Would you like to help get more kids out in nature?

While it may feel like nature is all around us, many kids lack access to the outdoors. Your support helps WYP connect kids from all backgrounds to Santa Barbara’s natural beauty. Thanks to support from people like you and our WYP community, we are able to provide scholarships to nearly 1,000 youth each year.