Teri Rogoway’s love of nature started early, with her own mom. “My mom taught me from a really young age that nature was a gift and that we could be better people as a result of interacting with nature,” she shares. “I’ve always had a positive experience in nature and I wanted to give those kinds of experiences to other people.”
As the educational programs coordinator for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, Teri helps children engage with nature from an early age. “We do stroller walks with parents and infants and toddlers, where we let the kids play outside and make things out of twigs, rocks and leaves. I never tell them what to make, I just let them create,” she notes, which helps build creativity skills that follow them into their later years.
Engaging parents is key to increasing young children’s exposure to and appreciation of nature. “You want parents to feel comfortable being out in nature because children watch how their parent responds. If the parents are afraid, then a child might pick up on that fear and carry it with them through life,” she explains.