The Oxford English Dictionary defines Kinesthesia as “the brain’s awareness of the position and movement of the body or limbs etc., by means of sensory nerves within the muscles and joints.”  When you think about the amazing capacity of our bodies and minds to explore, learn, and create – none of that could happen without the ability of our brain to process information around movement and positioning.  We are wired to move, to perceive, and to engage our senses, in nature. 

Maine Coast Craft school founders and teachers Kenneth and Angela Kortemeir describe “something deep within us that longs to be using our hands to make beautiful things, and we believe that engaging this elemental “maker” in ourselves could bring about positive and tangible change in our world.”  “Handmade objects, even very simple ones, are ambassadors of inspiration, artistic expression and resourcefulness in our consumerist culture.”   

Beaver Ponds Environmental Education Center is a place where hands-on learning happens in the forest and in the riparian areas around the Sacramento Creek.  In the past year we: 

-made soap and salves with local ingredients

-made caramel/cajeta  

-spun yarn with drop spindles, painted with the fresh aire artists, made fiber art, harvested from our garden and the forest 

-utilized local plants as fabric and yarn dies 

-shared our food and recipes with community 

-hand hewed logs for raised beds 

-carved benches out of green lumber 

-practiced healthy forest management 

-built hugelkulture mounds 

-harvested and cultivated local mycorhizzae 

-monitored water quality 

-hosted pika citizen science training 

-hosted local archeology training 

-maintained the vermiculture bin and composting project 

-harvested and fed fresh barley to the animals  

-and more.   

Promoting healthy patterns of activity in nature can help us learn to enjoy healthy behavioral patterns.  Big thanks to all who helped and participated in these activities!  People learn about and connect in different ways with nature through activities and projects.  Art, gardening, sports, cooking, and crafts are just a few activities that require kinesthetic training and happen to be quite enjoyable for many.  Whether for physical health, mental/emotional wellness, spiritual health, or just to shake things up a bit, consider some kinesthetic learning or activity in the forest as another important tool in the kit.  Let’s get into nature and do something! 

Eric Chatt N.D. 

Site Manager