Connection with nature
Publicado por parquedasaves em 02/10/2002
By: Camila Martins, coordinator of the Department of Environmental Education
Play in public spaces, outdoor walks, walk barefoot on the grass, the smell of wet earth, go on a trail in a forest fragment, feel the texture of a plant or be enchanted by the color of butterflies. These are examples of experiences that many people look for in order to connect with nature.
But with the rapid urbanization process, these experiences have become increasingly rare or difficult to find. If we think that according to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) in 2010 about 80% of the Brazilian population lived in urban areas, environmental education experiences that promote contact with natural elements become central to the construction of values for the conservation of the environment.
In this sense, several social researchers from around the world began to investigate the importance and negative effects of the absence of nature in the development of inquisitive adults who are engaged with environmental causes, especially those who did not have the opportunity to create lasting bonds with nature as children. In addition, they also realized that the presence of natural environments in urban areas has been widely used as an indicator of quality of life, demonstrating that the reduction of biodiversity in these environments results in a decrease in quality of life and an increase in health problems.
And how can we change this scenario and create more meaningful experiences that connect people to the natural environment, especially those living in urban areas? It may seem like an impossible mission, but it is not! Change can happen in your own garden or in your neighborhood. Planting native trees is an excellent practice since it will attract a number of animals, especially birds.
Creating green corridors within cities so that birds can find places to make their nests or feed themselves is a practice that creates emotional bonds with nature, especially with children for allowing the development of curiosity, creativity and sense of discovery.
Creating squares, forests and other green areas in your city is also a form of engagement in defining ways to provide a better quality of life for the population and also better perception and construction of knowledge and feelings for biodiversity conservation.
Visiting zoos, conservation units, botanical gardens, aquariums and other educational spaces, besides being a leisure practice, can also provide a rich learning environment for the whole family. Choosing these spaces as a way to allow interaction between adults and children is an effective way of building bonds with the natural environment.
Foz do Iguaçu is located in the Atlantic Rainforest biome – one of the most threatened biomes in Brazil, with less than 9% of the original forest remaining – and has the privilege of having environments that allow the connection with nature, such as Parque das Aves. Therefore, the main mission of the Environmental Education Department of Parque das Aves is to create educational experiences for all with the purpose of providing the connection and engagement for the conservation of the Atlantic Rainforest. Activities such as “Butterfly Watching” and “Bird Watching” are examples of educational experiences that children and adults can engage in through the mediation of our educators, to create ever more concrete and emotional bonds with nature!