Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour is TODAY!!

Today is Earth Hour 2009!

For more information you can visit the Earth Hour website.

They also have a site for kids here.

Here's a pdf document for Ten Fun Ideas to do during Earth Hour.

And here's what they say on their website...



This year, Earth Hour has been transformed into the world’s first global election, between Earth and global warming.

For the first time in history, people of all ages, nationalities, race and background have the opportunity to use their light switch as their vote – Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

This meeting will determine official government policies to take action against global warming, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol. It is the chance for the people of the world to make their voice heard.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.

In 2009, Earth Hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. VOTE EARTH is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

We all have a vote, and every single vote counts. Together we can take control of the future of our planet, for future generations.

VOTE EARTH by simply switching off your lights for one hour, and join the world for Earth Hour.
Edited to Add: We turned off everything and played Clue by candlelight. Earth Hour went by and we still played happily, enjoying the fun late into the night. I think it was Mark who won!

Boxes for Bluebirds: Georgia's Nature Class

This month's nature class for Park P.A.L.S was all about the Eastern Bluebird. Georgia learned all about this bird through slideshow presentation and naturalist discussions. Afterwards they went outside to look at the bluebird nest boxes around the nature center. They cleaned out last year's nests and learned how to take care of the nest boxes. Then they went back inside and made their own to take home. One naturalist noted that the kids were so good with their hammer and nails that they should all come help him build a barn :-)

She now has two bluebird boxes. We cannot put them up yet, though, but hopefully when we move we'll have the space and proper environment.

Maple Syrup Festival

We went to the Maple Syrup Festival again this year. We learned about syrup making through history and different cultures. We also learned about modern practices, and watched sap boil in the evaporator. We sampled syrup made in our own county...and bought some to take home, too. It was DELICIOUS!!! The girls sampled some maple candy.

Georgia demonstrated the yoke for the group.

Listening to a colonial-era interpreter about syrup making in his day, you can see the sugar shack in the background.

After our tour, we decided to go for a walk down to the beavers' pond. It was such a beautiful day for the first weekend in March!

We saw a lot of turtles out sunning themselves on such a lovely day.

And some Canada Geese as well...

We had a nice walk, definitely a nice break from winter weather.

The next day, Georgia made us some yummy pancakes! She made banana, blueberry, raspberry, and plain whole-wheat pancakes. We had a feast! And we used the local maple syrup purchased at the festival! Mmmmm.

Tracks & Traces: Olivia's Nature Class

Olivia's class this month was about finding signs of animals. They began by making playdough impressions from animal track casts. They read a story and completed an activity about the animal signs in the story. They used their magnifying glasses to examine various objects from animals, including a nest, hive, feather, fur, and antlers.

Next, the kids went on a hike in search of signs of animals. In the picture below the kids are looking at a hollow log which could be an animal's home. They also saw tracks, feathers, scratches on trees, holes in trees, and some scat! They rolled over some logs to find millipedes and centipedes, too.

Back in the classroom, the kids used animal track stamps to see the differences in tracks, and to create a beautiful picture!