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Outdoors

Nude hiking buffs ready to shed
June 20, 2009
Every year on the first day of summer, a few outdoor enthusiasts nationwide expose virtually all of themselves to insects, scrapes and thorns for the pleasure of bonding with nature au naturel. They call it Naked Hiking Day.
Wet spring means pests galore
June 12, 2009
If those annoying blood-sucking insects haven’t started bugging you yet, get ready. Local health and bug experts expect a larger number of summer insects this year, as compared with last year.
Nature center’s birds of prey vaccinated
June 12, 2009
It was shot day for the birds at Lawrence’s Prairie Park Nature Center. This week, nine of the center’s education birds were vaccinated against West Nile Virus, which can be lethal for many birds.
Bats to the rescue
Residents give flying mammals home in exchange for mosquito control
June 5, 2009
You might think it would drive the neighbors batty. But the hundreds of bats that swarm from beneath the overhang of Bob Blank’s central Lawrence home each night actually benefit those living around him, Blank said.
Bees drawn to water can be a nuisance
May 13, 2009
We all know that bees collect pollen for food.
K.C. unveils plan for more bike trails
May 12, 2009
Kansas City is promoting a recently passed plan to make it more friendly to bicyclists. It was approved last week by the City Council and provides a framework and recommendations for ongoing improvements.
Blame wet September for weed glut
May 12, 2009
You may have noticed an increase of yellow and white dotting all the green recently. Perhaps you even have a backache from trying to get rid of it. An increase in the number of dandelions in the community is the result of a significant amount of rainfall eight months ago, according to one Lawrence garden expert.
Sucker punch: Entomologist offers several strategies to keep mosquitoes at bay
May 11, 2009
The approach of summer isn’t all about swimming, baseball and family vacations. It also brings pests out to ruin your outdoor activities. For many, the king of those pests is the mosquito, carrier of diseases such as the West Nile virus and instigator of itchy skin. But by following a few simple steps, you can cut down on the disruption these insects bring and prevent them from biting.
For the birds: Plan ahead for avian dwellings
May 11, 2009
For these tenants, a wood shack is as good as a palace. You can buy ready-made birdhouses at prices up to $100 or more. Or you could build your own for $5 -$10 in materials.
Child’s play: Parents won’t find DIY swingsets too difficult to build
April 27, 2009
Many families around the country are following the lead of President Barack Obama and installing playsets in their own yards. These sets, which often include a slide, swings and a fort, while witnessing a recent spike in popularity, have enjoyed a consistent appeal with families for several generations.
Order creates group to get kids outside
April 14, 2009
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius issued an executive order Monday to form a new group that will create opportunities for children to experience nature. The group, called Kansas Coalition for Children in Nature, will work with state agencies and other organizations.
Salamanders get help crossing road
April 6, 2009
The black salamander with yellow spots sat on the roadside in the dark, ready to make a go of it. But it was not on its own. It got help from an escort — one of 45 people who volunteered on a recent night to carry salamanders, frogs and newts across the road during their annual migration to mate.
Youngsters shouldn’t overlook outdoors, CEO says
Put away electronic devices and enjoy nature, leader urges
April 2, 2009
Young people should have less screen time and more experiences in the natural world. That’s the message Cheryl Charles, president and CEO of The Children and Nature Network, is hoping to spread to younger generations. During a lecture Wednesday evening at Free State High School, Charles expressed concern about the amount of time children are spending with electronic devices.
Grassroots group aims to reunite children, nature
March 30, 2009
Being outside leads to a better inside — physically and emotionally. That’s why no child should be left inside. That’s what longtime Lawrence real estate developer John McGrew believes. And those beliefs were reaffirmed when he read Richard Louv’s book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” — a book that has spawned a national movement to reconnect children to the great outdoors.
Join the movement
March 30, 2009
The Nature Education for Kids task force is sponsoring a summit this week. Cheryl Charles, president and CEO of the Children and Nature Network, will give a presentation “The Ecology of Hope: Building a Movement to Reconnect Children and Nature.” The free presentation begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Free State High School auditorium, 4700 Overland Drive, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.