At Long Lake our mission is to ensure that students, parents and all visitors to Long Lake become lifelong stewards of nature. We believe that process starts with being able to recognize what we appreciate about nature, this is something that we try and focus on at Long Lake. After each adventure the students go on they are given time to journal and think critically about nature, the skills that they have just learned and how our interactions change the world around us. We encourage students to take some time and write about what they appreciate about nature along with some of the things that they enjoyed and learned while they were at Long Lake. Here are some of the things that past students have had to say:
"We appreciate many things about nature, one thing is that we most appreciate is the oxygen and energy that nature gibes us, we appreciate this because it helps us feel healthy and energetic. The best thing about nature is that it provided us a trip to Long Lake to meet new people and learn new things. Most of all we appreciate the memories that nature has provided us, these memories will last a lifetime."
"Not only is nature beautiful, but it provides benefits to humans or animals. Oxygen from plants and trees, woods that provide shelter to the animals, berries, pinecones and nuts that provide food to those around. Conserving our resources will help preserve nature for future generations. Turning off lights, recycling, limiting waste and turning off water while not using it are examples of conservation that I learned at Long Lake that I will keep doing at home!"
Long Lake is committed to students genuinely learning at Long Lake Conservation Center. Our mission is to encourage the exploration, conservation, and appreciation of nature. Beyond the mission, our purpose as an organization is to inspire a deep appreciation of nature so that all those who experience Long Lake build skills and affect to respect the nature world surrounding them and accomplish lifelong stewardship of the environment. We are told often that Long Lake has a profound effect on the people who come here. We hear numerous stories of how Long Lake has determined career paths, changed lives, and built community. And although the stories are wondrous to hear; we thought the claims of true learning and of changing lives could use some evidence-after all we are a group of science teachers. Thus, in 2016 we initiated an entrance and exit survey the students participate in. We ask very similar questions at the beginning of their stay and at the end in hopes to learn more about the Long Lake Effect. We want to know students' previous experience in nature, how they feel about nature, and overall if they appreciate nature now more then before their Long Lake Field Study. It is quite amazing what one trip can do! Below are some quotes from appreciation essays from students!
"The quietness of nature is something that we appreciate, this might be the first time that some people are able to go outside and hear nothing but the nature around them."
"We appreciate the many activities that nature gives us like boating, skiing, hiking etc. The best thing that nature has provided is the people we meet when out in nature and at Long Lake and the memories that we make during this trip."
"We appreciate the seasons that let us observe the outdoors at different times of the year, the different seasons let us see many types of wildlife."
"We appreciate nature because it provides resources such as food, water and materials; also we appreciate plants because they provide food and medicine."
"We appreciate conservation because this will help to preserve nature for future generations, turning off lights, recycling, limiting waste, and turning off water will help to make sure that everyone will be able to enjoy nature."