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The new year always brings great aspirations with it.

The food we eat looks a little healthier, workouts become more regular, reading lists get longer. We use our journey around the sun as a natural way to mark time and make changes - it just feels right to a lot of us.

For me, I want to spend my time more intentionally. I want to focus on several things that I care a whole lot about, and then invest my energy in THOSE things. In the past, I've felt much like a squirrel that can't remember where I buried my acorns; if someone were to examine my trail of unfocused effort, the tracks would just go in circles.

This year, I want to be a coyote.

Have you ever seen coyote tracks? If you are ever outside here at Fontenelle Forest when there is snow or mud on the ground, you'll see them, and I guarantee you'll notice how focused their trail of tracks is. No turning, no circling, just straight lines, pursuing an end goal. I want to do just that: figure out what I want to focus on, and then ignore distractions.

Even if you weren't planning on setting huge goals or making big changes with the onset of the new year, I encourage you to evaluate the direction you're headed with your child. Without purpose, our day-to-day actions just end up being full of scurrying, leaving us dizzy and forgetful by the end of the week. Choose to be intentional about a focus for yourself and your child.

Join us at Hands-on-Habitat

Obviously, I think spending time in nature should be a focus, and hey, you might as well learn more about animal tracks while you're at it! Bring your young child to Hands-on-Habitat, for starters, and find an animal that YOU want to emulate!

Our next session is on Friday, January 20th from 9:30-11:00 am. We'll be outside looking at tracks at some points of our morning together, so bring some extra mittens or a hat to put on while we're outside. There will also be some art projects, stories, and hands-on learning. something for every interest!

It will be a great time of exploration and learning - perfect for starting the year intentionally immersing your child in the natural world. Register now at see you there!

Lindsay Cooley

from Fontenelle Forest

Lindsay is an environmental educator at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. She was born and raised in Omaha, and is happy to be back after spending the past four years interning and working at various nature centers around the country. Lindsay has a background in environmental science, and is passionate about cultivating a love of the natural world in children and adults alike. When she's not cutting out craft materials or taking kids on hikes, Lindsay loves birdi ...

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