Dig in your hands, move ‘em about, and voila, an earthworm is winding through your muddy fingers! You’re 7 years old and grinning as wide as a crescent moon. “Loooook, Mom!”
Excitement for nature is not hard to imagine at age 7. We are amazed by everything! And why shouldn’t we be? The world is one incredible place, and there are so many ways to explore (and get muddy).
Inspiring a love for nature at a young age is one of the most important things we can do for the next generation, because that love lasts a lifetime. During our early years, we begin to understand how the environment impacts us and how we impact it. This understanding often spurs a desire to protect the places and creatures we love, from the bugs in our hands to our gorgeous local marshlands.
Two groups of remarkable kids in the San Francisco South Bay and Peninsula have recently demonstrated their love for the Bay by raising money to protect it.
An ambitious group of third graders at the Nueva School in Hillsborough recently raised more than $500 through their unique farmers’ market fundraiser. And at Stevenson PACT Elementary School in Mountain View, the second-grade class has also raised over $500 through their craft sale. All of us at Save The Bay feel honored to receive these hard-earned donations, and we’re truly inspired by these young people’s initiative and passion for the Bay.
Stevenson’s second graders decided to support Save The Bay after hearing about our work through a student presentation. At Nueva, the third graders watched the documentary “Saving the Bay”, highlighting San Francisco Bay’s ecological importance and the threats it faces every day.
“The students learned that oil and plastic pollution can cause harm to birds and other wildlife, and can drastically pollute the Bay,” says Lisa Hinshelwood, the third graders’ Social Emotional Learning teacher. She believes that her students were motivated by a real concern that the Bay they know today won’t be around when they get older.
These second and third graders know that their donations will allow Save The Bay to preserve and protect our Bay by restoring wetlands with native plants, reducing pollution in the Bay, and campaigning against reckless shoreline development. We’ll also keep nurturing a love of nature in middle and high school students, through our award-winning restoration education programs.
From all of us at Save The Bay: a huge THANK YOU to the spirited kids of the Nueva School and Stevenson PACT Elementary! Your love for the Bay and your teamwork inspires us all, and we adults will never stop learning from you.
Save The Bay’s Executive Director, David Lewis, attended The Nueva School before it moved from portable classrooms in Menlo Park to the Crocker Mansion in Hillsborough in 1971. In fact, quite a few of Save The Bay’s supporters have a relationship with the Nueva School as alumni, staff and parents. Check out David’s fourth grade class photo above!
David recalls, “A lot of my time at Nueva was spent outdoors, learning about and through nature. We went to Lake Lagunitas at Stanford to catch tadpoles and mosquito larvae, camped at Mt. Madonna, and visited a working farm. Those outdoor experiences influenced my interest in the environment early on.”