Walden Parents Dig In

September 18, 2015

Over the summer, the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street along the front of Walden School was replaced with Kurapia (Lippia nodiflora). This new low-water groundcover was developed for drought conditions and is tolerant of a range of soils and harsh conditions.

UC Davis completed a multi-year study of drought tolerant plants and Kurapia was one of the top three performers. Dark green with small, white, sterile flowers, the groundcover plugs spread their leaves to fill in next to each other, but the plant is non-invasive, because it does not re-seed.

Photos courtesy George Do.

Walden parents recently dug in to help the newly planted plugs by pulling weeds from the bed. Once the plugs have fully matured, weed invasion will be minimized. “Garden work is always a good way to start the day,” said one Walden parent. Teaching that we all have stewardship for the world in which we live is a cornerstone of Walden’s mission.

Several years ago, Walden dance teacher Daphne and her husband, John, replaced their traditional lawn with Phyla nodiflora, a close relative to the Lippia nodiflora planted at Walden. Daphne praised the plant, saying, “It’s a tough-as-nails, no-mow, drought tolerant ground cover, that unlike a lawn, is ornamented with pretty white flowers. Even if the plant dies back from drought or too much winter cold, it springs back from the rhizomes.”

Do you ever sit under a tree just listening to the sounds of nature around you? For how long? A few minutes? An hour? A whole afternoon?

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In 2005, author Richard Louv in his book “Last Child In The Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” hypothesized negative consequences to people and to society as we spend less time outdoors in the natural world. In 2007, the Society for Conservation Biology published research that draws a connection between children’s increasing consumption of electronic media and declining visits to National Parks.

Without romanticizing history, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says, “free and unstructured play is healthy and – in fact – essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.”

Spring in the Northern Hemisphere is recognized as a time of re-birth and new beginnings in many cultures. From Pesach and Easter to Nowruz and Higan, images in nature represent these holidays connected to the spring equinox.

Submit your photos of time in nature with your family on our FB page or write to us in the comments below!

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
-Henry David Thoreau

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