Jacob Tisue, WPCRC Facility Manager

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Although it is cold outside as I write this, I can’t help but feel that spring is in the air — especially considering we are hosting the 13th Annual Springfest in a few short weeks. Springfest is Saturday, April 1, 9 am‒3 pm. Stop by to do some shopping for locally made art, crafts, personal products and crazy knick-knacks. Lunch and snacks will be for sale by the NESYB basketball program. You can have some lunch, help out a local youth program and shop for that new garden gnome you’ve always wanted.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about connecting children to nature. Madison is poised to be a national leader among cities to start initiatives based on this concept and to help provide resources to existing programs that are already making those connections. In my own free time, I enjoy mountain biking, canoeing, hiking and exploring the outdoors. It is important to me to introduce my children to these experiences as well. Playing in the dirt beneath a 200-foot evergreen tree and catching frogs along the lagoon shoreline can only be enjoyed if you go outside and do it.

So this is my call to action. I challenge you to spend some time outdoors. I encourage you to walk around your local park or trail. Volunteer at a school to help provide exploration activities for children. Take the neighborhood children fishing. Grab that hot dog and macaroni and cheese you were about to have for lunch, take it outside and have a picnic on a sunny Saturday.

By spending time outside you open your eyes to possibilities and the world around yourself. Children learn from nature, grow from playing outdoors and develop leadership skills from interacting with the natural world. You don’t have to climb a mountain to enjoy nature — just have a sense of adventure and some open space.

WPCRC and Madison Parks are in the planning stage for an exciting event that includes camping in Warner Park. Keep your eyes peeled for something new and exciting this summer. See you at Warner Park, where everyone is welcome.