Nature Walk at North Hills Park

>> Friday, August 7, 2009

I try to help my city boys develop a love of nature by spending a lot of time outdoors. We go to the playground, walk on the greenways, feed the ducks, throw rocks in the lake, and inspect the bugs and plants. I'm proud that my boys can tell the difference between a deciduous tree and a conifer and can identify many types of trees and flowers.

Here are some highlights from our walk this morning at North Hills Park:

The greenway at the park spirals down a great big hill. My boys took off on the path so quickly I could barely keep up.

After a few minutes, they decided to offroad it.

They found an uprooted tree and played "King of the Hill" on its roots.

Back on the path, Third Son stopped to inspect some rocks.

First Son showed off his strength by hoisting a fallen branch into the air (and then carrying it up the path for awhile).

Time for the hike back up the hill. Third Son worked hard to keep up with his brothers.

Look at those chubby little legs!

Back at the playground, Second Son wrestled with one of the diggers. Those things take some coordination!

North Hills Park is located at 100 Chowan Circle in Raleigh. It includes a playground, a tennis court, a baseball field, restrooms, and access to one of Raleigh's great greenways.

Have you taken any good nature walks lately?

*Long time readers of this blog may have noticed that this is the first time I've ever posted pictures of my kids. I also included a picture of my oldest on my last post at the Green Phone Booth. Why this sudden change?

I've been debating for awhile about whether or not I should include more pictures of my personal life. On the one hand, I think it makes the blog more enjoyable to read. On the other hand, I worry about my children's safety. I almost went the whole nine yards and called them by name, but at the last minute, I chickened out. Note also that none of these pictures give a good view of their faces.

Lots of other bloggers post pictures of their children online without a thought, and my husband insists that I'm being overly cautious. Am I just paranoid? And if I post pictures of them, is it silly to still keep their names a secret? What do you all think?

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Steph @ Greening Families August 8, 2009 at 12:13 PM  

I was struggling with the issue of how much information to share about my kids as well. I also began with no pictures and no names and only recently began sharing either.

Three things moved me in the direction of sharing more. First, Greening Families really is a family effort. While I write the posts, we talk about all the topics at home and my daughters make many suggestions that make it to the site. The site didn't reflect that and the girls noticed.

Second, both of my daughters asked if they could make their own websites. I've run my own business for years and my husband recently made the switch to self-employment so we loved their sense of entrepreneurship and wanted to encourage it. Both had ideas that they thought could help others so we wanted to encourage their spirit of caring as well.

Third, my husband (who thought sharing pictures and names was OK) pointed out that we could use this experience to teach our kids safe computer practices while we still had a great deal of control over what they could and could not access. He also pointed out that there is enough easily accessible information available that if someone wanted to find out about our family, they already could. Frankly, that thought made my blood run cold but I knew he was right.

On the safety education front, I've been impressed with the Safe Side videos. Both Internet Safety and Stranger Safety give solid information in a way that doesn't scare kids.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper August 8, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

@Steph - Thanks so much for weighing in here. I really appreciate your input. Sounds like your husband made the same argument my husband has been making. It's a tough issue, and one I'm going to have to think more on.

Cherie August 9, 2009 at 10:41 PM  

Thanks for sharing the cute photos. As a mom of 2 kids going off to college soon (1 for the first time), it really took me back in time. I do understand your caution with posting on the web. Over the years, I too have worried about internet safety in general. But as Steph's husband said, if someone who really wants to get info on your family, (sadly) they can. I've tried to train my children to be savy when it comes to posting on the net. I think that is more important than banning postings altogether.

Leigh,  August 10, 2009 at 9:42 AM  

I don't think you need to say their names. MetroDad just refers to his daughter as the Peanut, even though he posts pictures of her, and his is a parenting blog. It is fun to see them. The nature walks we've been on with the little one are in New Mexico and they are hot. But get them out there early and build a foundation for the outdoors.

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