#ShutdownCleanUp -- Clean up our parks and beaches this weekend

Hi friends,

There's a ton of trash on our parks and beaches thanks to the federal government shutdown. Let's go clean it up! The weather is supposed to be clear on Saturday, so let's get out there and be a force for good. 

Please go on your own to a National Park (see here) and clean up trash. I was at Stinson and there was a ton of plastic trash all over the beach. Crissy Field and places throughout Marin Headlands need some love and care, too. 

Or join us at Ocean Beach on Saturday, January 12 at 11am. We'll meet here. Bring garbage bags and we'll bring them home, or find a nearby dumpster, to dispose of properly. Gloves are good too if you want to keep clean hands. Let me know if you want to join us.

If you want to get your teenager engaged, download Litterati on their phone and have them document all the trash they find.

Let's get out there and take care of our parks and beaches. Invite friends! Recruit people! The more the merrier.

You are needed. #ShutdownCleanUp


Celebrate Summer Solstice with 510Families


The summer solstice is one of my favorite days of the year. And I wrote about it for the good people over at 510Families. I invite you to check it out, and make plans for this Thursday, June 21. There isn't a wrong way to celebrate the solstice, so go ahead and make something up.

Happy summer,


The tide is low this week

It's not on the front page of the newspaper (if you read the newspaper) or at the top of your newsfeed (if you're on Facebook). I think it's worth knowing, though. 

There's a really low tide this week in the late afternoons between like 2pm and sunset. So, if for example, you're looking for something to do with your kids after school this week, or if for example, you don't want to or have to go to work this week, particularly Monday-Wednesday, then I'd recommend you finding yourself a beach. Like Point Pinole Regional Park in Richmond. Or Crown Beach in Alameda. Or any beach along the Pacific Ocean like Limantour, Stinson, Baker, San Gregorio, Pescadero. 

Steal some moves from this and take yourself at the beach this week in the late afternoons. 


One gold high heel in the pickleweed

First off, the clean up event that East Bay Regional Park District hosts on Martin Luther King, Jr Day at the MLK Jr Shoreline is really worth going to with kids. Well, it's worth going to regardless of your age. But there's something about it that works well for and with kids. I highly recommend it for you next year. We didn't register, we just showed up. Maybe my friends at East Bay Parks don't want me to say that, but it's what happened and it all worked out. 

If you're going to take your kids to some kind of clean up or restoration event, first I say YES! And then I say, be sure to let them be kids. They don't need lectures or statistics or guilt trips. They will get it. They understand, at their age appropriate level, that finding one gold high heel or 17 empty plastic bottles in the pickleweed is not how things are supposed to happen in the natural world. And that knowledge and that experience will situate itself somewhere deep inside their being, and it will manifest itself later in life. 

I'm proof of this. 


Clean up, clean up, everybody clean up

Next Monday, January 15, is Martin Luther King Jr Day, and a great opportunity to do something, anything!, for your community. Why? Watch this:

I'm here to inspire you to do something for the parks, natural areas, and open spaces near you. Because our kids need us to pass on a healthy planet for their future. Right?

And I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be a big deal. Maybe you don't have the day off from work. Maybe your kids are super young. Maybe you are overwhelmed and don't have the mental space to figure something out. No matter what, you can do something. And I'm here to help. 

East Bay Regional Park District is hosting a clean up at MLK Jr Shoreline Park in Oakland. And I have to admit that this song is stuck in my head as I think about cleaning up the shoreline. 

Or if that doesn't work for you: 
  • Plant a tree. Have you heard about this organization
  • Plant some plants that bees and pollinators love. Do you know about this project?
  • Pick up trash wherever you are. Take a picture of it and contribute to this global initiative.
  • Go to the beach and picking up garbage for 5 minutes during the 3 hours you're there. 
  • Invite your neighbor to go for a walk at your local park. 
  • Donate to your local parks or conservation organization. Choose one (or two) from this list.
  • Call your city council member, state legislator, congress person, senator, or president and ask them to protect the environment for future generations. Be a part of the wall.

There are options!

Go, get out there, make a difference, and feel good. You can do it. We can do this!


If I might...

I might recommend you find yourself at the beach. It's good for the body, mind, and soul. 

I've got some ideas for 2018 that involve this Outside Kids thing. I'll be back soon.

Happy New Year!


100 things to do before you're 12 years old.


I read this and thought of you. How many of the 100 have your kids done?

This weekend is a good time to check some of these things off the list.

Happy weekend,


A mini impromptu book club (about an article)

How much time do you and your kids spend outside every day?

Read this article and let's discuss it. Jump over to the Outside Kids Facebook page, or share in the comments on the Outside Kids website. I want to hear from you, and I'm sure others do too. 

Ready, go.


No outing to Point Pinole on 10/14

Hello everyone,

I just can't encourage kids and their families to go outside and run around with the air quality as bad as it is. Maybe it will be better on Saturday, but what if it's not? It seems to change hourly, and I just don't want to risk it. 

We will go to Point Pinole another day. 

Together we will help our friends and family and neighbors in the North Bay rebuild, restore, and heal. The devastation is horrible and tragic. But the community that will be built because of it will be strong and beautiful. My deep respect and thanks to all of the firefighters, police, volunteers, neighbors and public servants who are helping, saving, protecting, serving, and caring for these places and the plants and animals (humans included) that live there.

Take good care of yourself, of your kids, and your community. And we'll go outside and run around sometime soon.


PS: I've started a new project. It's called The Sun Rises. It's all about hope and inspiration and action for future generations on this one and only planet we have. Subscribe here.


Dear Outside-Kid-ers,

Hey Outside-Kid-ers, 

I went to Point Pinole today for work and it was like sticking your head in an actively burning fire pit and deeply inhaling. The smoke was thick, and it burned our eyes and throats. (we didn't stay long).

The winds will no doubt change by Saturday, and perhaps going outside together will be just what we need, and the air will be clear. 

But perhaps not. The fires in Sonoma, Napa, Solano, and Mendocino are still burning. The winds are still fast. The humidity low. It is a serious, tragic, and horrible situation.

I'll post an update to the website on Friday to make a call on whether our biking/birding outing is on or off. 

Take good care, people.