Naturalist Ed Series: Connecting to Nature Through Story

A wonderful way to turn children’s attention and appreciation towards the natural world is through story books. Join us to discover how to engage children with nature story and writing at the Osborn Preserve! We will also use our senses to explore nature in a short “intentional walk."


Sally Bolger is a writer, explorer, and conservationist who is inventing a life out of the two things she loves – writing and protecting our planet. Sally was the project manager for the Giacomini Wetlands Restoration in Point Reyes, and that experience is the basis for her award-winning children’s book Fun in the Mud.


Connecting to nature through story is an important aspect of children’s understanding of nature since stories help children comprehend their outdoor experiences. We will explore nature stories and writing at Osborn Preserve’s most stunning time of year, spring. Please bring a short piece (up to three minutes) of nature writing that is inspiring to you (optional).

This event is part of the Naturalist Ed Series. The event within this Series allows participants the option to become Osborn naturalists to address Nature Deficit Disorder. Participants are welcome to share and learn about curriculum. No experience required. Must be age 18 years or older.


The events within the Naturalist Ed Series are held outdoors at SSU’s Fairfield Osborn Preserve, a 15-minute drive from SSU’s main campus. All events occur rain or shine.

The “intention walk” is self-paced near the education center (maximum 0.25 mile with a 20-foot elevation gain).

Directions are provided in your registration confirmation email. A sink for hand-washing, potable water and restrooms are available on site. Please arrive to park in advance of the registered event start time. The preserve gate will be unlocked 20 minutes before the event start time. You will be asked to sign a liability waiver upon your arrival. We will meet outside at the Osborn Education Center, which is across the footbridge on the east side of the parking lot. No pets or smoking are permitted.

Parking is limited so please consider carpooling, and let us know if you plan to do this so we can open more registration spots accordingly.

COVID-19 Safety

At registration, you will be asked if you can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. All staff are vaccinated. Do not attend if you test positive for COVID-19 or if you have any symptoms that may be indicative of COVID-19, even if you are vaccinated. You must properly wear a mask when indoors (e.g., education center at Osborn Preserve, carpooling to or from the preserve), even if you are vaccinated. Bandanas, gaiters or vented masks are not suitable. We will spend all of our time outdoors where social distancing is possible. All SSU updated guidelines will be followed, which can be found at 

What to Bring

Please bring a short piece (up to three minutes) of nature writing that is inspiring to you (optional). Please also bring a suitable mask, backpack, water bottle, snacks for the trail, writing implement and paper. We recommend layered clothing, covered shoes, a hat, rain gear, sun and insect protection and hand sanitizer.

How to Sign Up

See registration link below. Each participant should register separately.

This event is free of charge.

Osborn Naturalists

We offer training programs each semester (during winter and fall) to become an Osborn naturalist. Please contact Julie Wittmann for more information about how to become an Osborn naturalist at

About the Center

Sonoma State University’s Center for Environmental Inquiry empowers university students to work with community members on the environmental challenges of the North Bay. Our mission is to create an engaged and environmentally ready society, one where all people have the skills to find solutions to the challenges facing our earth. SSU Preserves are open to everyone engaged in education or research. Reservations are required.

Date & Time Registration Link
Thursday, April, 28, 2022, 3:00pm to 6:00pm