As humans, our connection to nature is innate. However, with our busy lives and the built world we inhabit, it’s easy to forget how essential nature is to our health and well-being. Now more than ever as we suddenly stop in place and examine our surroundings, we realize how important nature is for our mental health. To spend time outdoors taking in the surroundings with all our senses is both calming and rejuvenating. Our Park will be open soon, but in the meantime, being outdoors is not the only way for us to tap into our need for nature. 
Domestic and Wild Friends
For many of us, animal companions are our closest links to the natural world. Watch footage of a cheetah stalking its prey and you’ll immediately recognize the same behavior in your cat. Experiencing animals up close is an important opportunity to tap into the wild that remains deep within ourselves, and for children especially it is also a chance to build familiarity and empathy with the natural world.

Bonding with companion animals and closely observing wildlife, even neighborhood birds, can be transformative experiences which build a sense of responsibility for nature and restore our essential connection to the Earth. As we thank our animal friends for their companionship, let’s also thank them for keeping our own wildness alive. By sharing their wild ancestry with us, they bring out the best in our humanity. Listen to the wind, watch your fish, or walk your dog and feel the healing that nature brings.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Follow this link for information and research on the Mental Health Benefits of Nature from NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
Farewell Rex!
Our beloved gopher snake Rex has found a new, safe location to ParkInPlace. A fixture of Point Reyes Summer Camp and long-time animal ambassador with PRNSA’s education department, Rex has moved to the home of a capable caregiver to ensure her health and well being during these transitional times. Does this mean retirement for Rex? Who knows, she might enjoy a life of leisure! We’ll see how she feels next time camp rolls around. Until then, thank you, Rex and best wishes!

Photo by Galen Leeds
Wild or domestic... cats will be cats. In the video below a mountain lion kitten explores with mom. Remind you of any cats you know?

Be Well,
Biret Adden
Education Director
Recommended Reading - Staff Picks
Here are this month's staff reading recommendations:

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv. Louv's new book explores the essential connections we share with all living creatures. By strengthening our bonds with animals (wild and domestic), we can tap into the empathy required to preserve life on Earth while also reducing the modern day epidemic of species loneliness. "Each animal we encounter has the potential to become part of us or part of who we could become. If we meet them halfway." Richard Louv, Our Wild Calling
The Nature Fix by Florence Williams. Florence Williams' book explores the modern research on the myriad health benefits of nature. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, her findings promote deep reflection and are more relevant and pressing than ever.
SAVE THE DATE! Thursday, June 11 from 12 - 1pm . PRNSA's own Donna Faure will be interviewing Florence Williams as we learn more about Florence's book and hear how her findings relate to our current situation in 2020. Details coming soon...

If you would like to order either of these books, we recommend ordering from our community partner and local bookseller, Point Reyes Books .
Big Cats
This is footage captured from a Felidae Project camera in the East Bay.
Upcoming Events
Lighthouse close up taken shortly after restoration.
Saturday, May 23 - 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
SLIDING SCALE - donations benefit PRNSA

Join Point Reyes Books and PRNSA for a virtual event to celebrate the publication of Jazmina Barrera's On Ligthhouses . Jazmina is a rising literary star in Mexico and we are excited to help introduce her first book translated into English. She will be joined by natural history writer Philip Hoare for a conversation on lighthouses, the ocean, and our relationship with peril and safeguarding at the edge of the sea. We will open the event with reflections on our own Point Reyes Lighthouse.

REGISTER HERE for this sliding scale event, co-sponsored by Point Reyes Books. Instructions and link will be provided upon registration.
Brown Bag Virtual Science Lecture
Thursday, May 28 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm FREE
Join us online as Jules Evens, Principal, Avocet Research Associates and author of ' Natural History of the Point Reyes Peninsula ', talks about California Black Rail ecology and his research into their use of restored tidal wetlands including the Giacomini Wetlands. REGISTER HERE.
Jules Evens conducts wetland monitoring, biological assessments, and survey populations of at-risk species throughout the greater Bay Area. We are thrilled to share his PRNSA-funded research at this free lunch-time science talk. California Black Rail photo by Jules Evens
We hope you’ll share what you’re up to with us through our #ParkInPlace campaign! 

Stay tuned on social media and don’t forget to tag us in your posts and stories on Facebook and Instagram .
#ParkInPlace and #PointReyes_PRNSA

If you do not use these platforms, please email me your ideas, stories,
and photos at
Point Reyes National Seashore | (415) 663-1200 x 310 | |