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Nature Walk

Excerpts and Readings



Earth Day Service

“Walking in the Spirit of Thoreau”

CLICK HERE to tell us that you're planning to hold a walk so that we can better support you
and announce your event to people in your area.

From the Library of Congress web site….

Few writers of any era or discipline have exerted so great and lasting an influence on American culture's configuration of the (hu)man-nature relationship as did Henry David Thoreau, whose writings on the subject defined both a literary form--the nature essay--and a seminal philosophical understanding. "The Succession of Forest Trees" explores the dynamic ecology of the woodlands, especially the role of birds and animals in seed dispersal, and recommends that man be guided by the patterns of nature in effecting forest management; this essay "has been generally considered the most important contribution to conservation, agriculture, and ecological science Thoreau made in his lifetime," in the words of historian Donald Worster (Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas).

"Walking" is a prophetic evocation of the value of wildness and wilderness: "in Wildness," Thoreau proclaims, "is the preservation of the World" and he creates here a veritable seedbed of conservationist themes: the notion that man may properly be seen as "part and parcel of Nature, rather than as a member of society" ; that "when I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable, and, to the citizen, most dismal swamp. I enter a swamp as a sacred place"; that American society will itself be saved by contact with "this vast, savage, howling mother of ours, Nature".


• We recommend that Walks take place after the Earth Day Sunday Service, but they can be conducted at any convenient time during the Season for the Earth. The walk can be of any length you choose, but remember to accommodate those who cannot walk too long or too vigorously.

• Identify a Nature Walking destination originating from a central gathering point near your church or in your neighborhood. If it is not within walking distance, you will need to arrange carpools or even shuttles (seek sponsorship, or ask local transport company to donate in exchange for being named on materials).

• Spread news of your Walk using the customizable postcard/flyer templates.

• Collect names and emails Use the Walk Sign-up Sheet.

• Have someone who will send a communication to Walkers to remind them of the dates, time, location, and other logistics.

• Include in your communications notes to bring water, non-littering snacks like trail mix if needed, wear comfortable shoes, layer for temperature control, and other simple basics.

• Help parents pair children up on the buddy-system to make sure everyone is accounted for and does not stray from the group.

• Appoint a Walk leader to set the pace and be aware of any circumstances needing attention during the Walk.

• Silent walks can be very sacred, but only if your group does not find that to be more of discipline that takes the “fun” out of it. Encourage mindfulness and nature-focused conversation during the Walk.

• Remind walkers at the beginning and end that we hope they will be cultivating thoughts as they Walk that they will go home and enter into our “Journaling” section of the Deep Green website. http://www.agnt.org/walking-journal

• AGNT will collect the Journal entries and, at the end of Season for the Earth 2013, present to our network a new “Walking Essay for the 21st Century,” in the Spirit of Thoreau.