Being a Naturalist in the Life of a Child

Presented as a home gathering, brown bag lunch, or short workshop


For information, or to schedule a presentation, contact the Center:
503-227-2315 or

This presentation explores an exciting ongoing role, Being a Naturalist in the Life of a Child. The relationship can be daily (parent or neighbor), episodic (grandparent), or distant (relative). The role requires no pre-existing knowledge of nature or biology.

As an antidote to significant modern influences that disconnect children from a sensory experience in nature, the adult naturalist amplifies and nurtures a child’s natural sense of wonder and curiosity. The benefits to both adult and child are countless, and the bonding around a shared interest in the natural world can be one of the most enriching and memorable dimensions of life for both of them.

To explore this role with friends, a host schedules a Center presentation in any of three convenient formats:

  • A home gathering (1 ½ hours),
  • A brown bag lunch at work (1 hour),
  • Or a short workshop (2 hours).

 For more details, see the Naturalist presentation flyer here [PDF].

Naturalist Resources

Books for adults: the role of naturalist in the life of a child

  • Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornell
  • Wild Play: Parenting Adventures in the Great Outdoors by David Sobel
  • Closer to the Ground – An outdoor family’s year on the water, in the woods, at the table by Dylan Tomine
  • Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature by Jon Anderson
  • Wild in the City by Mike Houck

 Field guides for adults & older children to learn more about Nature

  • Birds of the Willamette Valley Region by Harry Nehls, Tom Aversa, and Hall Opperman
  • Trees to Know in Oregon by Edward Jensen, Oregon State University
  • By Pat Lichen:
    Passionate Slugs and Hollywood Frogs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Backyards
    Brittlestars and Mudbugs: An Uncommon Field Guide to Northwest Shorelines & Wetlands
    River-Walking Song Birds and Singing Coyotes: An Uncommon Field Guide to NW Mountains

 Local nature activities for adult and child