Watching a pair of blue jays frolic in a bird bath. Sitting on a park bench observing squirrels chase each other around a giant oak tree. Gardening in your backyard. Planting a tree. Fishing along a misty river. Seeing turtles sunbathe on a log in a local lake. Counting stars by a dying campfire in a state park.

People who love the outdoors and wildlife are invited to check out a new online community called Wildlife Nation.

The National Wildlife Federation recently launched the site, with the goal of connecting people with each other in order to instill a love of wildlife in children.

You can visit Wildlife Nation at wildlife nation.org.

Increasingly, children are spending more time indoors and in front of electronic devices.

Wildlife Nation hopes to help reverse this trend by inspiring kids to get outdoors every day to create a generation of happier, healthier children with more awareness and connection to the natural world.

“My favorite memories as a kid involve the outdoors. But children today are becoming increasingly disconnected from nature and wildlife,” said Becky Lentz, director of operations at the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office, which initiated the community. “We started Wildlife Nation because we can’t imagine a world where nature and wildlife are not a part of kids’ lives. Our goal is to create a community where we all help each other so that kids today can enjoy the wonders of wildlife, whether they live in a large city, a suburb or a rural community.”

People who join the community can upload pictures, tell stories and ask questions. Once there, people can find resources to create a habitat in their backyard, plant trees, or camp and fish.

“We view Wildlife Nation as a kind of ‘niche Facebook’ for adults who care about wildlife and want to pass that sense of caring on to the kids in their lives — whether those are their own kids, grandkids, or the kids at their school, church or down the block,” said Julia Liljegren, regional education manager.

“The Wildlife Nation community is online and on-the-ground, so teams of one or more adults do stuff outside with kids and then connect with others to share what they are doing online. People can do as much or as little as they want, how and when they want to do it. Whether you’re the type of person who likes to take a leisurely stroll around the block or hike the Appalachian Trail, you’re welcome to be part of Wildlife Nation.

“Wildlife Nation is open to adults who want to help create a future in which kids develop and retain a wonder, respect and appreciation for wildlife,” said Lentz. “There is no one right way to get kids outdoors. We’re forming a community that is helping grow the next generation of wildlife stewards. Families, camp counselors, teachers, faith leaders, community mentors and business leaders are all welcome.”

The National Wildlife Federation has worked to connect children and youth with nature for decades, inspiring children through Ranger Rick magazine, working with educators to get kids learning outdoors, and helping parents find new ways to engage their children outside.

“Wildlife Nation is about one thing: Inspiring people to go out and enjoy wildlife,” said Liljegren. “Each person has a story to tell and every one of us can help make a difference so that kids can enjoy wildlife now and for years to come.”

The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.

California Deer Association Dinner May 2

The California Deer Association is holding its Mt. St. Helena fundraising banquet on Friday, May 2 in Calistoga at the Napa County Fairgrounds.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

The event will feature a wonderful catered dinner, lots of guns in the raffle, a fantastic live auction, a silent auction, and fun for the whole family.

Tickets are still available. Dinner prices are $85 per adult or $140 per couple. Youth admissions are $45 each.

Call Rick Sereni at (707) 291-5407 for tickets or more information.

CDA raises money to help deer populations on public land in California, and has spent over $4 million on projects since its founding in 1996.

Contact Guy Carl at GC.outdoors@

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