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Project NatureConnect
Institute of Global Education
Organic Psychology
Special NGO Consultant, United Nations Economic and Social Council
Practical Environmental Education and Environmental Studies Careers and Jobs


The Value and Outcomes of Nature-Connected Experiences.

This page contains quotes from Project NatureConnect workshop Environmental Education and Communication students at Royal Roads University, Victoria, British Columbia. They share their 9-leg story anonymously to help others recognize and enjoy the unifying and wellness benefits found in natural areas, -- potted plant, backyard or backcountry. Names witheld by request.

"My experiences in nature have been some of the most memorable parts of my childhood and early adolescence. During those years I was fortunate enough to love sitting alone at sunset on a hill looking our across the fields, the early night air filled witht he sound of crickets and the smell of hay. Those warm summer days were spent watching the changing clouds with endless fascination for they seemed to speak to me in a language that I somehow understood." 

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


"I vividly recall the lightening storms that I watched from a farmhouse. For a young child those electrical storms were both frightening and thrilling. To this day I believe that those storms have provided me with a powerful reminder of he brilliance and magical force of nature."

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


"As I reflect back upon my experience in nature I am filled with a deep sense of reverence for the earth and profoundly touched by my connection to all beings. I feel that these formative experiences have become a core part of what move me and motivate me to pursue work in Environmental Education." 

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


"My experience today is shaped so strongly by my early connection with the land and it's protective, nurturing and spirutual essence. I return often to those memories of interconnectedness and feel so grateful for having experienced them."

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


"I most deeply know the peace and joy of solitude when I open up to my connection with nature's essence. Doing so then enriches my connection to the important people in my life and gives me balance between connection and aloneness."

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect   


"I awoke very early one day and saw the sky lightening through my window. I felt invited to go the beach with a cup of coffee and got there seconds before sunrise. I sat on my log and drank in the crystal clear sky, which had a vibrant liquid orange band stretched above the horizon and the lake as smooth as glass. Within seconds of arriving, a small spot on the water began to glow orange and before my eyes it spread and spread until a small arc of the sun itself rose straight out of the water. It only took about two or three minutes and the sun was fully out. I welled up at the magnitude and the beauty and the silent simplicity. I felt blessed to be alive and a witness to what seemed like a birth of a new day and a sensuous deliverance of myself. I could feel myself being wonderfully released along with the sun.

My trust of nature's essence as a fact was enhanced by this experience because I was so directly and immediately affected by this repeatable and trustable display of earth's love of and dependence upon the sun's light. I depend upon it as much as the earth does. If I thought this was my last sunrise and my last experience of that kind of connection I would feel bereft.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


A couple of years ago i went back home to the mountain, a place I had not for almost twenty years. I am not sure why this was the time I was to go home but I knew it was. Something drew me to go there and to the peak of the mountain. I had spent my youth there.

It was a hot sunny July day and we hike towards the peak of the mountain and swam in a lake that I used to skinny dip in as a child. I contued to the top, a place I had not been for almos twenty years. The hike was hot, strenuous and it was a and incredible accomplishment on the broiling day. the peak provided me with a magnificent view of the city , mountains and the ocearn The place and view was the same as I had remembered. I felt an incredible sense of joy and relief the be there.

I think back on that incredible day on the mountain now and I know that it was a time for me to let go of my past and open the door of my future. And that is what happened as to long after muy life took som incredible changes. These changes have been personally incredibly positive and I know that it all started from the day.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


My fondest memory of experiencing the essence of my being was a "stand still" moment at Quispiis. I was eleven years old. I recall sitting the beach; my hands and fingers gently over the round, smooth, warm flat shones. The grey-blue ocean stretched out into the horizone blending in with the light blue skies. The sun shone on the pacific sea waves. The ocean sparkled brightly. In one movement I lay on the beach and blended in with the universe. I looked up and saw two bald-eagles circling above me. As I watcher the eagle circle above, my senses became alive to the sounds and smells around me. I heard children laughing or squealing, dogs barking, birds singing; sealions barking, the sound of a sea plane in the distance the steady drone of a fish boat trolling the ocean. The sea breeze across the sand whiffed a salty-scent deep into my nostrils. This warm ocen breeze gently embraced me. I had a sense of feeling one with mother earth, with a deep spiritual connection to the universe. Quite often I go back to this special moment for comfort, warmth or inspiration and groundedness.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  



When I was ten years old my parents and I went to Saskatchewan for a holiday in a small cabin beside a lake for a couple of weeks. I spent alot of time swimmining, playing around in the woods, walking down the dirt roads discovering the new smells and and experienceing the quiet. Many time I was there alone fishing and looking atht the lake. It was during these moments that I realized how well sunset and open water complemented each other. I saw how a lake settles as darkness nears, people on boats would slowly disappear, kids spalashing around would slowly return to the cabins. The quietness of the lake is when the attractiveness ot the environment truly came to light. The loons would be calling out, the frogs would start sounding and the lake would becomne like glass. Thinking back, I realize how fortunate I was. Not may people from the suburbs of Montreal had time to experience the lake as it presented itself. I have a sense that it helped me learn how to appreciate what nature had to offer and that I wanted to spend more time in nature. It was a great time. I learned and gained some very valuable memories.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  



When I was eight I went to summer camp for the first time in a wilderness setting wher we slept in canvas tents. It was all boys and it was my first time away from home. It was a time on innocence and naivete. The smell of pancakes and wet tent are stuffed in the crags of distant memory. The best part of summer camp was the nature hike leader. He was lively and dynamid and funnyt abnd caring and engaging and knew everything about nature. He lead us on a one-day hike that whose theme was the boreal foret and outdoor survival and from time to time he would make us stop and listen Stop and listen. One of the most important things I try to pass on in my daily relations with my studens, co-workers, my family, visitors...stop and listen. We rarely take time any more to internalize our natural surroundings. The regenerative and rejuvenating power of this simple activity abounds.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  



A hike in the Osa Peninsula is particularlay attractive and memorable to me because of its pure senssory nature. I recall very vidily may of the scents, tasts, texturs, sight and sound o f the experience. The transitons of the day are also marked iin my mind" our departure on a humid morning, the building tension of the oncoming storm, the cool relief and refreshment it provided, and the emerging heat of our return. I remember my personal transition as well moving from worry ofver the possibility of bad weather to concern at staying dry until finally giving in and embrcintg the pounding rain. It is one of the most refreshing things I have experienced. I still smile as I recall sliding down the slippery slopes, getting knee-deep in the river, being cvovered in mud, and never so at one with the earth.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


The nature hike leader made us write our name in the sand and then asked us questions about why we used this letter or that size and then he picked up a grain of sand and said that it already had his name written on it. "We're made of the same stuff and we have an intimate connection to this planet." Then he shifted gears and asked us to think that the grain was our planet and the other grains were the stars in the universe, an ovewhelming cosmic adventure for an eight year old. He challenged our minds and our bodies and left us satieated. We were in awe of his mastery and in his non-offending sensibilities to guestion and guide and share. We need more leaders like him.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  



I remember my brothers and I reaching the mountain top. We started at 5PM iand hiked into forest then alpine then show. The sun set and we clembed in darkness theough icy crevbass fields to the south col. As we dreached it in darkness, the moon came int view behind the Roman Wall. I rmember being bahted in this blue electrifing light. When we reached the summit, the sun rose and bathed the ipeak in a pink glow, casing a 50 mile shadow to the coase. I felt on top of the world and utterly joyful. The return of that morning into forest surrounded by streams was rejuvenating. It left me sensing all my bodey, brathing differently , moving differently and deeply connected. Felt more real. For years I've come to realize the vital importance of me getting out every 2-3 weeks for a major hike/trip.

Environmental Education Student, Project NatureConnect  


I am going through a breakup with my partner and am thinking about things that are most important to me. I am finding a great difference between my intuitions and my instincts. My instincts, which include my senses tell me to stay with my partner. I am still so attracted to Renny in many ways. But the rationale of my inner intuition tells me that I need to move on. There have been many external signs as well. In the natural area I visited, I was attracted to a group of trees, and I remembered roaming in the woods before I was with Renny, and that lost sense of freedom and autonomy.

Focusing on my senses in the wild allowed me to be away from, and my attraction to Renny. Being connected to the Earth helped me evaluate my connection to my partner and how it was serving me.

I think I am getting too "attached" to Renny. Meaning- my time of learning and growing with my partner is over, but I cling to the relationship out of a need for connection. Out of a lack of deep connection with the Earth and people, I find someone that I can cling to and hold on to. What I really need to do is let go and work on building deeper relationships with people who I am not in love with and be with the Earth.

I find that being connected with all possible aspects of nature dissolves my addictions and allows me to be free and think clearly. It teaches the part of me that attaches to things that are changing to let go and be free, and to let myself change and grow.

Ecology Student, Project NatureConnect  

A FRIEND'S RESPONSE: I was attracted to your realisation that a connection with nature allows you to be free from attachments in relationships. Since moving to here and then since starting this course I have felt such an unconditional love from nature that I no longer search for love in a way that I was previously. I no longer have a need to be loved as I know now that I am nine leg loved, and I am love :-). I have a whole new outlook on relationship issues and am so happy to be by myself at this time because really I am not by myself at all.

Ecopsychology Student, Project NatureConnect





Special NGO consultant United Nations Economic and Social Council

Readily available, online, natural science tools
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P.O. Box 1605, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
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The Natural Systems Thinking Process

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