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Koehler supports a project at Naturlandstiftung Baden . In 2019, the foundation started providing the “Kinderarche” kindergarten in Legelshurst with professional support in the field of nature education. Since the start of the year, the children have been visiting the woods once a week in the company of nature education specialists.
Even though “getting back to nature” is so important for children’s development, especially at kin-dergarten age, it’s not something that can always be taken for granted these days. That’s why it’s all the more important for the Koehler Paper Group to support projects and initiatives that focus on this issue. Take environmental charity Naturlandstiftung Baden, for instance, which works to ensure sustainable use of nature and provide education in this area.
In 2019, the foundation started providing the “Kinderarche” kindergarten in Legelshurst with professional support in the field of nature education. Since the start of the year, the children have been visiting the woods once a week in the company of nature education specialists. The idea behind these trips is that the children explore, familiarize themselves with, and understand their environment and the nature all around them.
Teacher Corinna Schade: “In the woods, children gain their first experience of the environment as a group. Having spent a wonderful day in the woods, the children are always calm, relaxed, and well-balanced when they return.” That’s why she feels it is so important to introduce youngsters to nature at an early age. After all, children need contact with nature for their physical and mental well-being.
“It is both exemplary and commendable that the trips to the woods have been part of the Legelshurst kindergarten’s regular curriculum for several years. We are delighted to contribute our expertise,” says Marco Lasch, Chairman of the foundation.
As a weekly commitment requires both financial and personnel resources, however, Naturlandstif-tung Baden began searching for a sponsor – and found the Koehler Paper Group. “This partnership is only possible thanks to the Koehler Paper Group and the support of CEO Kai Furler,” says Lasch.
Support in Harmony with the Koehler Corporate Culture
Kai Furler never had any doubts about supporting the project. “First of all, I like being in the great outdoors myself. Secondly, I’ve got children and know how vital it is to teach kids about our local nature and its importance.” Fundamentally, the support for the project is a continuation of the ethos promoted by Furler at his company.
“At Koehler, we work on sustainable solutions in all product categories,” he says. He also explains how the firm nurtures young talents, so it’s no coincidence that it has been recognized with the “BEST PLACE TO LEARN” seal of approval. “We can identify with the project.”
Multisensory Experiences of Nature
Corinna Köninger, nature education expert at Naturlandstiftung Baden, explains that woodland walks are not the only important aspect. The moments in which children take the time to explore the world around them really count too. “This is how children activate senses such as sight, hearing, and touch. In other words, they experience nature with all their senses in the woods; they marvel at the vivid green of the leaves, feel the soft moss, and listen out for birdsong,” explains the nature educator.
In the woods, the children’s natural inquisitiveness meets their inherent awareness of nature. “The children are always asking about words and expressions and want to understand how everything interconnects, e.g. why acorns exist. As we can see, the woodland environment energizes the chil-dren, gets them active, and hones their awareness for the world around them,” explains Köninger.
Woodland Excursions at Legelshurst Kindergarten
The kindergarten launched the weekly woodland excursions a few years ago, with the trips a high-light of the week ever since. But in order to make the most of the woods, it’s important for the youngsters to dress correctly. “Whenever we know that we’re visiting the woods, we look at pictures of the current season with the children, e.g. trees in fall colors. We then talk about the weather so that the children learn about what clothes to wear in the woods,” explains Corinna Schade from the kindergarten. Because even if the sun occasionally shines through the trees, it can often be cool and wet in the shady woodland. That’s why rain pants and rubber boots are the children’s first choice.
Naturlandstiftung Baden’s mission is to get children, young people, and adults excited about nature and to combat alienation from nature. Thanks to experiences in the natural world, people recognize and learn about the place of human beings in the ecosystem and natural world, the aim being to promote responsible and sustainable behavior in the interest of both people and nature.