b'Exploring natureA walk by the river. The sound of bird calls. A breath of fresh air: The simplest out-door activities reduce stress and restore well-being.Joanne Douglas, youth program manager Ms. Douglas agrees. Children and teen-agers need to be outside, she told us. We stay on technology and phones all the time. Joanne DouglasAnd we dont get enough nature.says the riverMs. Douglas brings students outside to speaks to her.teach them about the river environment. Not in words, sheThey learn how to take care of it and how told us, but in feel- to be safe when boating or doing other ings.activities. The river doesntShe is excited when her students make say, Hello, how arediscoveries on their own. Last summer, she you doing? saidsaid, there was one day where someone Ms. Douglas, who is the youth programin a kayak saw a bird with long legs. It was manager at Bartrams Garden in Philadel- a great blue heron. And a little later that phia. It is always there to teach a lesson.day, another boater said they saw a great blue heron trip on a log and splash into the Ms. Douglas spends a lot of time observingriver! the Schuylkill River, which runs beside herThis was doubly exciting for Ms. Douglas, workplace at Bartrams, the public gar- for her students discovery and also for den on its banks. The river is alive and iswhat it told her about the rivers well-be-always moving, she said. And even whening. Years ago, it was a rare sight to see the river is moving really fast, when therethese beautiful birds at Bartrams. Last are waves, or it is messy from a storm, ityear there was a nest. Finding multiple her-goes back to normal. ons is a good sign that the river is showing Health experts say spending time in na- improved health.ture can benefit people in several ways. ItMs. Douglas said she enjoyed going out-can reduce stress and loneliness and lowerside when she was a kid, inspired partly blood pressure. It can improve both yourby a fifth-grade teacher who made nature memory and your mood. 7'