Nature Heals Instagram Challenge

Let’s go on a mini-adventure! Go outside and explore a different street than you are used to traveling, a new park, or look in your neighborhood with a fresh perspective. Remember to enter to be part of our $20 U of M Bookstore gift card contest. Post a picture from your walk to Instagram and tag @umnlib #natureheals Drawing will be on 4/1/2021.

Try one of these prompts when on your walk to slow down and de-stress:

  • Look low, look high, what might be living under the ground and up in a tree?
  • Close your eyes. What can you hear close by? What can you hear a little further away? What can you hear in the distance?
  • Find four different textures on your walk (rough, smooth, soft, crispy, fuzzy, wet, prickly).
  • Sit and be still for 15 minutes. What do you notice around you? You may be still but nature is moving around you.
  • What can you smell? See if you can identify three different smells.
  • What kind of tree is it? Who lives in the tree? What is the tree’s role in the environment?
  • Vary your styles of walking. Speed up, slow down, try short strides and long strides, jump skip.
  • Go on a walk and choose something to observe. Maybe you look for the colors of the rainbow, find items of the alphabet, observe fonts on signs, etc.
  • Leave your walk to chance. Take a coin with you. At a corner flip a coin to see which direction you should go next. Heads turn right, tails go left.
  • Head out and observe. Try counting on your walk. Some examples might be how many dogs you see, cars that go past, smiles of strangers, or park benches.
  • If you were a tree – what would you be?  Today go outside and find yourself reflected in the trees. Find out more about your tree – where does it like best to grow – what are its needs to thrive.  Can you do the same for yourself?
  • A photo of any object in nature that represents you. (No selfies please)
  • A photo that depicts contrasts (any kind of contrast).
  • A photo that has a beautiful pattern in it.
  • A photo that brings you great peace.
  • A photo that represents resilience to you.

These resources inspired our list:

  • “Side Walks: A Journal for Exploring Your City” by Kate Pocrass
  • “The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday” by Rob Walker
  • “On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes” by Alexandra Horowitz
  • “Healing Forests” by Nitin Das

Resilient Communities. Libraries Respond to Climate Change. American Library Association.Funding provided by Resilient Communities: Libraries Respond to Climate Change, a pilot program of the American Library Association.

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