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  STEPS

Five Steps Toward Your Nature Culture

An essential ingredient of a Nature Culture is to sustain the natural sources of the culture. Here are five steps to get you started.

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DEFINE YOUR REGION

Your first step is to form a partnership to develop a common vision and how to operate, and to define your region. As a general rule, include an area that has common ecological features such as a watershed, a valley or an island. 

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WHAT TO CELEBRATE?

Within the region you selected, identify the major natural elements such forests, lakes, seashore and marshes, the common animals, the sources of food, the places people can visit nature and so on. The inventory will help you decide which elements you want to become entry points for a Nature Culture. You might find helpful at this stage to engage with local naturalists or scientists to create a natural events calendar from which you can select elements to celebrate. For example, there might be time when fish return to reproduce, leaves turn colour in fall, when locally produced food is harvested, and birds arrive on migration. You want to ask naturalists and scientists to explain when and why these events occur and what must be sustained for the events to continue. What they find will form a part of your Nature Culture.

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SELECT YOUR CULTURAL EVENTS

Looking at your inventory, choose some of the natural events that you might like to celebrate. Those elements that can inspire a cultural response will need to be sustained to be part of a Nature Culture.

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EXPERIENCE NATURE

COLLECTIVELY AND INDIVIDUALLY

The fun begins with getting people to experience nature. You might choose to experience nature on your own or you could organize events for people to join.  You might find businesses that might want to sponsor or join your event. Nature clubs might lead walks or events. Choose a time and place to return to nature. For example, if flowers bloom for a brief time each year, you might like to schedule a walk to see the bloom. Give the walk a name and make it an annual Nature Culture event. Hold an art show or a musical performance.

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BUILDING THE CULTURE

Start small. The real fun is to see how individual experiences with nature give rise to new forms of expression. People come to nature in a variety of ways. Some come through science, some through music, others through poetry and art, and others through food. Welcome everyone to join the celebration. For example, you might hold a feast or a pot luck with your family, friends or the community with only food from the region. Get creative in developing new dishes, give them names and share the recipes as part of a cultural celebration of nature. Follow my blog to share ideas.

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Image source: « Cornus canadensis » – Geneviève Raîche