Walking in Washington Park

Written by Martha Sudermann
    Tuesday, 05 July 2016
Walking in Washington Park

“Good morning pretty lady!” exclaimed a Neighborhood Environmental Education Project student a few weeks ago, as I passed her class walking near the lagoon. I never quite know what to expect, as I head to work each morning. Her inviting smile and her silly demeanor were a welcome surprise. I knew I was going to have a good day.

I am an educator with our ever-growing after school program and my morning walks have offered me time to reflect on my work with youth and community members.

I am often struck by the brilliance of children and youth. Their questions easily spark my own curiosity (and also make me recognize my own ignorance about a lot of things)! I am learning how to reciprocate the uninhibited friendliness and joy that many of the youth we work with share.

I have come to appreciate my daily ritual of watching birds in flight, observing the changing color palette in the park and passing gleeful students who are making new discoveries. I watch the rhythms with reverence.

If you know a curious elementary school-aged student, consider checking out the Young Scientist Club. Tuesdays through Fridays from 4-6pm we garden, cook, canoe, create, learn and experiment. On Saturdays, we go on field trips to surrounding parks for hiking, fishing and play. All with a smile.

I encourage you to take a walk in Washington Park. Enjoying the excitement of our youth, taking a class or learning to fish, canoe or kayak can be a great way to spend a summer day.

Martha Sudermann

Martha Sudermann

Martha is a Community Programs Educator at Washington Park. Urban Ecology is her Lutheran Volunteer Corps placement. Martha enjoys reading, gardening, long walks, and perfecting her bread-baking abilities. Martha graduated from St. Olaf College with a double major in biology and religion.

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