connecting to nature




 “We will be known by the tracks that we leave behind.”  ~  Dakota proverb


What are some of your fondest childhood memories? For many of us this question conjures up memories of building forts, looking for bugs and exploring the world with our friends and pets in tow. We may have only been in our own neighborhood but the adventures were as grand as our imaginations!  

Sadly many of our children today will not be so fortunate as to look back upon their childhood and remember the magic of this incredible nature play. Children spend an average of six hours a day in front of a TV or computer screen, and 50% less time outside than children did 20 years  ago. This has lead to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and apathy for nature and others. There are many reasons for this disconnect such as lack of time, safe places to let children explore, a lack of awareness of the benefits for children of playing outdoors and the uncertainty of some adults to allow children, into the woods.

It’s easy to blame the nature-deficit disorder on the kids’ or the parents’ back, but they also need the help of urban planners, schools, libraries and other community agents to find nature that’s accessible.      Richard Louv

This is where Hawk Creek comes in, through creating the interactive Eco-Trail we will be encouraging and providing a safe outdoor environment for children to exercise and gain the benefits of an active lifestyle. In order to make this project a reality we needed help. Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo stepped up—they generously awarded the Center a grant to fund 25% of the project!

Now we need your help to complete it. Since the Foundation was able to lay the base for the new Eco-trail. You can make a meaningful difference in your community through donating towards the completion of the Eco-Trail Project and help us to give children the chance to create impactful memories and  create healthy habits from nature play! 

At our new facility on Mill Road, we are building the Eco-trail with a field station, outdoor classroom and unique activities that will cover eagle nest building, bird watching, survival skills, just to name a few! These activities will promote exercise of the body and mind. Children will  become researchers in The Aerie field station and outdoor classroom. Here they will learn how to observe animal behavior, record data and learn survival skills they would need to do real field research. Then they can hit the trail with their fellow researchers to explore the activity stations.  So what else makes this trail different?

The Center is uniquely poised to spark interest and passion in our youth through up-close animal encounters. There is nothing more powerful than meeting an eagle face-to-beak! You never know what animal ambassador will be waiting just around the corner. Children of all ages will learn through active, hands-on experience—playing, exploring and discovering.  Life In the Woods is never static!