Earth skills

Ivy Creek Natural Area’s busiest season is no doubt spring. School groups come pouring in to check out the flora and fauna, and people tired of their own backyards become interested in turtles and mushrooms.
But when the wild proliferation of spring subsides and summer takes over, Ivy Creek resumes as a nature habitat where a walk along the creek can provide sightings of heron and beaver tracks.
To take advantage of this supposedly "slow" season, Kate and Hub Knott of the Living Earth School will be on hand to teach some essential skills involved in living close to nature. This has become a wildly popular day camp that teaches participants nature awareness skills such as how to move silently in the forests, the basics of wilderness survival, and tracking skills.
Although these particular skills may not help you navigate through modern society (or perhaps they will, you never know) they offer an in-depth look into the workings of our natural environment and provide clues as to how we used to live. Drawing heavily on Native American cultural legacy, they teach primitive shelter building and fire making, how to move stealthily through the woods, and most importantly, what to do if you ever get lost.
Kate and Hub have been conducting workshops in wilderness living in places as far flung as the Pacific Northwest and northern Virginia. They teach people eight years old and older how to appreciate and use the bounty of the natural universe.
Since their workshops are conducted all over the place, finding them sometimes takes a little bit of tracking expertise. But for now, the Ivy Creek Natural Area has everything they need for a real survivalist adventure. Bring the family because children need to be accompanied by an adult. And in case foraging doesn’t provide any sustenance, bring a bag lunch.

Earth Skills Workshop happens Saturday, June 22, from 10am to 2pm. Free, but please register. To reach the Ivy Creek Natural area, turn west off Route 29 onto Hydraulic Road. 1.2 miles past Albemarle High School, turn left onto Earlysville Road. ICNA is a half mile on the left. For more information contact Dede Smith at 434-973-7772.

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