by Elizabeth Hefner, Development Team

For most of us, exploring the marsh and visiting The Wetlands Institute is part of the fabric of summer. Every year, you join us in celebrating the joy of diamondback terrapin hatchings, the spectacle of shorebird migration, and the simple pleasure of beautiful days outside in the marsh or overlooking the bay.
Each summer at the Institute, children embrace the joy of discovery and the wonder of scientific experimentation, and take the first steps to becoming stewards of the wetlands we all love. They gain a greater awareness of the natural world, expand their knowledge of environmental challenges, build new skills to help overcome obstacles, and participate in new experiences. Summer is a time for them to step away from their screens and out of virtual reality to explore the world beyond their doors.

More importantly, as they slow down, they have the opportunity to discover the peace that nature brings – a peace they can rely on throughout their lives. Being in nature is an antidote for stress: It can lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and improve mood. Introducing children to the diversity of nature – from unique animals to differing landscapes and climates – can also encourage them to build an appreciation for the larger world and help them understand their place within it.

Beyond the children and youth who have summer experiences at The Wetlands Institute are the parents, grandparents, friends, and extended family who join them in exploring the marsh. These inter-generational connections create stronger communities and help find common ground among different perspectives.

Your support of our core mission is an investment in all our futures. It helps us inspire people of all ages to care for the health of the local wetlands, and keep the many visitors from around the country connected to the beauty and vitality of Seven Mile Island long after they return home.

We cannot do this without you. You are essential to our work, and your support is vital to our mission. Thank you.