Our April curriculum was a celebration of many contrasting world environments. We studied farms (planting,) rain forests, deserts and oceans! Each of these has their own characteristics that are essential to the survival of all species of the world, including people, yet they are so diverse. In spite of the differences, each place produces animals, insects, and plants that are important to us and each was created by God.
April 22 was Earth Day, a celebration of our precious planet and a reminder that we need to care for God’s miraculous world. Britt Gangeness, environmental educator from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, taught us three things we, even preschoolers, can do to keep our local water clean. We can pick up our dog’s poop, water our trees to keep them healthy (they shade the ground so don’t need to use as much water) and rake grass, leaves and dirt away from the streets so they don’t get washed into rain sewers to be carried to our rivers and lakes. The idea is that wherever we are and whoever we are, we can do our part to protect our world resources.
Rainforests seem so far away and out of our control, but we filled a grocery bag with items derived from rainforest plants, animals and insects such as medicine, tea, cinnamon, chocolate, rubber items, coffee, avocados, etc., and we realized that we are very dependent on rain forest products. How would we get along without chocolate, coffee and rubber bands? In addition, trees clean our air and provide oxygen for us to breathe. We certainly need to respect and care for our trees.
The desert, on the other hand, is dry and hot but it has benefits of it’s own. There is so much to learned from the way plants and animals of the desert survive in this hostile environment. The oceans are a new frontier. Certainly we are familiar with the delicious fish and seafood we enjoy from the ocean! However, the depths and shallows of this watery environment have many unexplored nooks and crannies we have yet to visit and benefits we have yet to learn about. What we do on land affects the water quality in the oceans and consequently the health of the plants, animals and vegetation there. Since the oceans cover 2/3 of the planet it is important that we recognize our responsibility to care for this environment, too.
All that being said, the most important resource in this world is, in my opinion, our young people. They are the ones who will continue to care for God’s world in the future. They will figure out how to responsibly use it’s resources to benefit all people. As I grow older I am more aware of the importance of finding cures for disease and mental illness. I depend on continued research to find ways of feeding the world without cutting down rain forests and polluting or melting the oceans. As adults we are responsible for raising these children and enabling them to accomplish all of this. We need to educate them and discipline them and tell them God’s story of His love for them. Mostly, we need to love them! In 1 Corinthians 13:13 we read,
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Nurture your children as you would nurture your garden, feed them, prune them when necessary, but mostly love them. They are God’s best creation!
Life without love is like a tree without blossoms and fruit.