Columbia Families in Nature: Cultivating Connections, Community & Conservation
The Columbia Families in Nature (CFIN) project seeks to connect families in this community with the lightly used natural areas that are woven throughout Columbia. CFIN will be modeled off of the Family Nature Clubs encouraged by the Children and Nature Network (C&NN). The CFIN outings will be held every other Sunday throughout the year and will typically last three hours. A primary focus will be to experience the natural areas within Columbia, although some outings will venture to other venues such as local farms and parks. Families will be encouraged to engage together in exploration of each area, with lightly structured ideas and information prepared in advance of each outing. Approximately half of the outings will have a more structured focus such as such as tree planting, invasive plant removal, stream clean-up, gardening, habitat creation, etc. By reconnecting families with nearby nature, it is expected that this program will help foster a greater sense of place and community connection, enhance environmental awareness and action in habitat and water conservation, promote the well-being of participants, and help strengthen family bonds.