Today’s kids are our future and denying them access to outdoor experiences deprives them of the learning needed to become better stewards of the planet. I co-create personalized Story Walking programs and experiences for schools, organizations, families and individuals to help us shift away from screen time to green time, because research shows that too much screen time causes all kinds of mental health problems. I produce monthly PODCASTS (downloadable for just one hour of listening) to share my own outdoor walking adventures and connect people to online resources that can help them become more positively engaged with nature, spirit and one another. If people feel a need to walk with their mobile phones, I encourage them to switch the phones to "airplane mode," which will help them focus their eyes and ears on the world around them, because that is how one learns to Story Walk.
The WALKING JOURNAL pages on this site offer story walking instruction and inspiration for children and adults of all ages. I suggest specific story paths from the journal for different reading levels, skills, abilities and personal interests. Download an Eco-Detecttive short story, read it (in "airplane mode" to help detox and avoid interruptions). Then think about nearby places you can go walk like a detective, looking and listening for clues that suggest something wonderful and mysterious.
Where do you live and what kinds of walks and activities might interest you? History? Science? Sustainability? Nature? Spirituality? Community engagement? What are you curious to learn more about? Not sure? My PODCASTS and WALKING JOURNAL will introduce you to places, people, organizations and businesses where you can go and learn more. Then switch your phone into "airplane mode," step out and wander with wonder.
When I set an intention and begin Story Walking with a question, I find the answers arrive, often in magical ways. Sometimes the answers come as the result of conversation with a walking buddy or with someone new I meet along the way. Sometimes the answers come in bits and pieces, and challenge me to fit the pieces together in creative ways. Walk with an open mind. Walk with curiosity.
A good eco-detective gathers evidence. Take photos with a camera or a phone (on "airplane mode"). Bring a sketchbook or a small notepad. Take notes. Collect things you find. Keep a journal and write a story or a reflection about your walk. I teach Nature Drawing and Writing, and I can provide tips and instruction to help nurture these skills.
My PODCASTS and WALKING JOURNAL often share examples of Nature's secret language. When we take time to pause and observe them, animals share their wisdom through specific behaviors. Plants speak through shapes, colors and smells to give hints of their magical healing powers. I offer a deck of 16 WILD PLANT MAGIC CARDS that show how to read the silent symbolic messages of specific plants.
My monthly PODCASTS introduce teens to people who are helping to improve our environment through all kinds of careers - landscape designers, web app and site developers, artists, writers, publishers, lawyers, sustainable farmers, solar power professionals, water quality engineers, environmental educators and the list goes on. Peruse the podcast archives and listen to podcasts that interest you. Find contact information through these pages and reach out to these people to learn more about their work. Mention that you heard them speak on a Story Walking podcast.
Learn some self assessment tools, answer insightful questions, start filling a Dreambox, learn how to navigate your way forward in career exploration and begin to write your life story. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or text 401-529-6830.
Are you a high school student interested developing leadership skills while serving a purpose? Train and volunteer to lead teams of younger students on after-school and summer learning Story Walking adventures? This would fill a huge need for supervised out-of-school time and environmental learning. Visit the FOR KIDS page on this website to learn more, and reach out for guidance and help with administrative details. Email email@example.com, or text 401-529-6830.
Connect with green career professionals and organizations, and volunteer to work on projects and internship opportunities that will help you build a strong service portfolio you can show when applying to college or future jobs.
Create a club at your school to connect student peers with adult professionals (parents, relatives, local business people). Map out a trail through the environment surrounding your school and organize "Walk and Talk" events that bring young people together with others working within the community. Visit this site's FOR KIDS page to learn more about this.
"My shift from the indoor workplace of adulthood back to the outdoor play space of childhood was prompted by a 'calling' I received from the spirit realm about 15 years ago. Destiny's words were channeled..."
Dedicated to passing on a legacy of love and respect for our earth, Shannon's organization helps schools give their students greater access to nature through hands-on outdoor learning and nature play.
Connection to nature is a critical component of childhood development. Sign up to receive the newsletter and keep up-to-date with "learning zone" design, teacher trainings, family events and activity ideas.
"Longitudinal analyses conducted over several years revealed a concerning trend - a higher frequency of internet use appears to be linked to a decrease in verbal intelligence and a reduced increase in regional gray and white matter volume in growing children across widespread areas of the brain." -Smartphones-Seductively Addictive, Detrimental to Mental Health, Epoch Times
"The work of Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist and educator, has also shown that children are increasingly competing with screens for their parents' attention. Some children have reported feeling neglected because their parents are constantly checking their phones. Parents who are unaware or not in control of their own screen use may also struggle to set screen time limits for their kids." -The Silent Epidemic Eating Away Americans' Minds, Epoch Times
Wendy Nadherny Fachon speaks with Green Teacher host, Ian Shanahan, about Food Forest Gardening. What is a food forest? How can teachers present an ecosystems approach to gardening for impactful learning? How might teachers integrate corporative learning opportunities enrich the process? Wendy has her own food forest garden, and she sees great potential for food forest gardening in environmental education. She also shares her insights about nature drawing as a powerful pedagogical tool and tells a story about a serendipitous discovery of Red Mulberry trees.
The Story Walking Radio Hour is an Environmental Education program airing on syndicated Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network (D7RN), every Monday at 9am and 9pm ET.
It is listed under the "Sustainable Living" tab of the network website. D7RN seeks more environmentally-focused hosts to help raise consciousness. Learn more at https://dreamvisions7radio.com/about-us/
If you would like to be a Guest or Sponsor with the Story Walking Radio Hour, call or text Wendy at 401 529-6830.
Collaborating with schools, teachers, environmental educators, and local businesses, Wendy has created and facilitated programs for urban, woodland and salt marsh ecological science. When the pandemic disrupted in-person learning, she led the development of the virtual Nature Drawing habitat learning series for The Empowerment Factory and helped facilitate the teacher training.
Wendy writes articles about kids health, outdoor learning and sustainable living for Natural Awakenings magazine and the Dreamvisions7Radio Network's Sustainable Living News column and has published work in Green Teacher magazine. As an environmental arts educator, she helps create and teach Nature Drawing curriculum for The Empowerment Factory, based in Pawtucket, RI. She is also a permaculture gardener and an Abundance Ambassador for Food Forest Abundance.
During the teen years, kids spend more time away from home, joining after-school clubs and sports teams, trying out different interests, seeking greater meaning for their lives and looking for ways to contribute their time and skills in order to make the world a better place. In 2017, Wendy lost her son, Neil, 20. At 20 years of age, he had so many plans, which were cut short by brain cancer. Through her grieving process, Wendy began sorting through the memorabilia he had accumulated in the boxes, drawers and book shelves of his bedroom - artwork, notepads, notebooks, journals, personal letters and magic notes. The Difference Maker eBook emerged from this process. This collection of stories is inspired by Neil and written for the teenage soul.
More recently, Wendy published her own story of love and loss with nine other authors in Volume Two of Shining a Light on Grief. She incorporates a couple wonderful story walking experiences in her story.
Through the Dreamvisions 7 Radio Network platform, Wendy continues to share story walks, environmental learning, online educational resources and interviews with professionals from the green sector who are implementing brilliant ideas for creating a healthier planet and happier people. She has produced over 50 podcasts, which people can access through the PODCASTS page.