It's easy to be green in Chicago, but finding time to explore nature around us isn't on enough urban parents' to-do lists these days.
That's why the National Wildlife Federation is on a mission to reconnect families with nature through Hike and Seek events held across the nation. In Chicago, the nation's largest conservation organization is hosting its fourth annual Hike and Seek at Bemis Woods.
"The purpose of these events is to provide families with a nature experience and open up young minds to getting outside," says Karoline Hurd, director of special events at the NWF. "The average child spends over seven hours a day inside looking into a screen."
The Hike and Seek events are set up like a treasure hunt. Along the one- to two-mile path, families can visit Stop and Study activity stations to learn about the wildlife around them. This year, the must-see station is all about salamanders.
"Salamanders live in our neighborhoods, but they may be rarely seen," Hurd says. "At the station, families will learn what a salamander is, how it grows, where it lives and how to identify one."
For those who aren't in love with the idea of hiking, base camp will be fun, too. Radio Disney will be on hand and kids can meet Ranger Rick (of magazine fame). Plus, there will be nature discovery activities for every member of the family.
Lindsey is Chicago Parent's summer 2013 intern. She is a senior at Ball State University.
See more of Lindsey's stories here.