Last year, I enjoyed setting and working on 15 nature goals for 2015. For 13 out of the 15 goals, I either met and/or made progress on them. Had I not set the goals, I would not have done or enjoyed as much as I did outdoors as I did.
So, for 2016 I've set 16 goals. Some are new goals, some are continuations of ones I enjoyed last year, and others are ones that I didn't have a chance to complete last year.
1. Take 12 new hikes.
2. Coach the Wildlife Project Bowl teams for our 4-H Club. Last year, I coached our club's first-ever junior team for the Wildlife Project Bowl from January-April. This year, all the team members returned and six new youth joined. There's a junior and senior team as well a three associate coaches that I'll be working with to help the youth prepare for the regional (and hopefully) state Wildlife Project Bowls.
3. Read 6 nature books or publications. There are two new publications for the Wildlife Project Bowl that I need to read this year. That leaves four books that I can select that are my choice.
4. Visit 5 state parks in Minnesota that I’ve never seen. I would like to visit Afton, Fort Snelling, Lake Maria, Frontenac, and Forestville/Mystery Cave. Go as a family when possible, and take the dogs with us on some of the visits as we explore new trails and parks.
5. Visit 4 nature centers that I haven’t visited before.
6. See a National Forest. Aim for Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington (state) in June.
7. Identify and journal about 3 new types of wildlife. I'll use the Handbook of Nature Study for information as well as the internet.
8. Identify and journal about 3 new birds.
9. Do a Nature Photo of the Week challenge using prompts I found from various challenges.
10. Go on 2 camping trips.
11. Plant on our nature trail 10 trees and shrubs that are native to Minnesota. We used to have a closed-loop trail on the back part of the farm when I did an art and farm camp for children.
After I stopped doing the camp and a development was built adjacent to our property, I no longer had a desire to walk back there. Now, after planting evergreens about a decade ago along the border, they have filled in quite nicely.
It's time to revisit having a trail again and using that part of the land. I'd like to focus on trees and shrubs that are particularly beneficial to bees and other pollinators.
12. Do 2 entries per month in my nature journal.
13. Attend 4 workshops, classes, or activities at state parks.
14. Visit two new national wildlife refuges in Minnesota (Sherburne and Upper Mississippi). Sherburne is 1 hour and 4 minutes to the west of home; and Upper Mississippi is by Winona – or about 3 hours away.
15. Have 6 picnics when the weather is pleasant and we aren't battling with mosquitoes.
16. Learn 3 new outdoor skills, hobbies, or sports.