Lifetime of Learning
I never really like school. I wasn’t bad at school, I just didn’t really care for it. I couldn’t wait to get finished with high school so I could get my college career started. Once I was in college, I couldn’t wait to get my professional career started. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I actually enjoy learning. It was the studying and test taking that I didn’t like. Learning is a lifetime activity and learning about the outdoors will only make you appreciate it more.
My oldest daughter is really into wolves. She’s fascinated with the pack life and how they interact with each other. When an opportunity came up to take her to a lecture about wolves, I couldn’t pass it up. The Marathon County Historical Society sponsored a talk from Scott Walter of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the wolf population in Wisconsin and how it’s grown over the last 20 years and how they are managing it the best they can. It was a very informative talk and I learned a lot of things that I didn’t know about wolves. My daughter loved it and was super excited to leave the talk with more information about an animal that she really loves.
As I was driving home, listened to her tell me all her favorite part of the presentation and you could tell that her love and fascination of these wild animals had grown two-fold. It made me realize that the love of the outdoors goes well beyond just getting outside and exploring what’s around you. It’s also about learning about the changes happening to the environment around you. It’s about understanding how the ecosystem works and what you can do to encourage that ecosystem.
Attending a talk like the one I attended is a great way to learn more about the what’s happening in the outdoors on a different level. You’ll typically see more scientific data that will show you trends as well as future plans and goals. You may even get a bit of a history lesson thrown in as well for good measure. The point is that being a part of a talk or discussion group can bring you a lot of value and appreciation for the outdoors. Whether it’s about wildlife or plant life, continuing to learn around about surrounds will only make us better stewards of the environment around us.
Where do you start looking for lectures and discussions like this? I discovered the wolf lecture from an ad in our local paper. This event was sponsored by our counties Historical Society. I also follow a few Facebook pages that occasionally post these types of events as well. I’ve found some events located on the UW Extension website as well. Once you start looking for them, you’ll being to notice more of them. But what if you don’t have time to attend a lecture? There are other ways for you to continue your education.
This is where the internet becomes an incredible resource. You can find thousands of articles on just about any topic you wish to learn about. The one thing I would caution is to be mindful of the source of the article. And remember that someone's option isn’t necessarily fact.
The point is to keep learning. Learn about what you find interesting. Whether it’s plant life, our park system or wildlife, there are many resources available out there that will teach you more about a topic you enjoy. Like my daughter, I find wolves interesting and that allowed me to enjoy the lecture about wolves and learn more about the state of Wisconsin.