Time outdoors is a vital part of life for all people, of all ages, everywhere. I'm passionate about getting kids to be outdoors and encounter nature, and about ensuring that there will always be a wild outdoors for the children of the future. This blog will be about our experiences camping as a family, the growing movement to get kids outdoors, finding nature in the city (there's a lot more than you might think!), and taking action to protect the earth. I hope you enjoy it and find it useful.

Signs of Spring

Spring is here, even if we still have some chilly days and nights. It seems as if everything is blooming all of a sudden.

Forsythia, Tehama St., Kensington, Brooklyn.

We've planted the beginning of our summer vegetable garden.

Lettuces in our kitchen windowbox.

And soccer is back in full swing.

Gjoa vs. Brooklyn Juniors, 4/13/13.

It's Worth Investing in Quality Camping Gear

I just realized that my Boy Scout brand sleeping bag (made by Coleman) is now 30 years old! My grandmother bought it for me when I graduated college and was living without furniture. It's in like-new condition, except that the elastic bands for keeping it rolled up have lost some of their spring. In fact, all but one (the newest) of our sleeping bags have held up really well. That one is only ten years old but the synthetic fill has gotten somewhat compacted.

These bags are, L-R: 30, 13, and about 17 years old!

Brooklyn Blogger Breakfast at Bright Horizons

Bright Horizons invited Brooklyn child- and parenting-related bloggers to tour their new facility on Kent Avenue in trendy Williamsburg. I attended and must say the place is very nice, and they make a real effort to feature natural materials, calm earth tones, room for gross motor play, and nature and science themed playthings.

The gym-like playroom features a kid-sized climbing wall in addition to a dance area and a variety of other items designed to encourage exercise.

Guest Post: Tips for Getting Outdoors Despite Winter Weather

This is a guest post by Carolyn from Fullonfit.

I've always made fitness a priority in my life, but I'm not a fan of cold weather. The winter months can make outdoor exercise difficult. I've learned to adapt though—and if I can do it, I know you can do it too! Here are some of the tips for winter fitness I've learned for weather that's snowy or just plain cold.

Wear the Right Gear

Book Review: Wild-Lost and Found on the Pacific Coast Trail

At 22, Cheryl Strayed was a basket case. After her mother's early death from cancer, Strayed began a downhill slide that ended in estrangement from her remaining family and husband, and reckless sex and drug use. On little more than a whim, she decided to spend the summer of 1995 hiking the Pacific Coast Trail—alone. Although she had plenty of experience with family camping, she had never gone backpacking before, and much of the book details her naivete and inadequate preparation, in particular, the tribulations caused by ill-fitting boots.

Two Kinds of Skiing (and Snowboarding) in Maine

We wanted to do snow sports for the abbreviated winter school break, but didn't have much luck finding anything reasonable for a holiday weekend on short notice for this area, so we ended up going up to Treetop Mom's family's home in Maine. It's on the mainland not far from Acadia National Park. We drove up on Friday. Saturday was our chill-out day; we did laundry, made plans, and the boys built a snow fort.

The 10 Best Cities for Urban Forests, from USA Today

USA Today published a piece recently listing the 10 Best Cities for Urban Forests, based on which cities have the most parkland per capita and which do the most to create green spaces and make them accessible to the public. And—guess what—New York is one of them, with a surprising 19.5% parkland! Besides New York, cities that made the list are Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.