Monday Whazzup – Get Out and Enjoy The Sound of Nature!

Garden, Urban Life — By on January 19, 2009 3:41 pm

Want to feel healthy and like a million bucks? It is easy – get out in nature. It increases the level of serotonin your brain produces, gets you away from the chemicals, germs, and dry air of a closed building, and builds a greater connection with the natural world which is good for the human spirit.

Less than a mile from my home is one of the most beautiful properties I have ever seen – the 6,800 acre Department of Energy facility, Fermilab National Accelerator Laboratory is located in Batavia, Illinois, and is open to the public. It is brimming with nature and wildlife. For years I lived in my suburban community without ever visiting Fermilab and missed out on so much.Fermilab Prairie 08

One fateful summer day several years ago I drove in to see what Fermilab was all about. To my amazement and delight, it was an explosion of nature filled with oak savannah prairie, lakes, and wooded areas.

Here are two photos taken from the exact same spot – one taken last summer and the other taken just a few days ago in winter. While standing next to the prairie sunflower I saw butterflies, heard the chirping of crickets, rustle of bending grasses, and movement of rabbits in the field. Without a doubt, the sound is a surprise sensory experience when standing in middle of a prairie. One can only imagine from a photo the intense amount of life living in a prairie.

Fermilab Prairie Winter 09

During the winter a prairie is a different experience. It is quiet, but not silent. Wind has a peculiar roar, almost like the sound of a wave, when it is streaming heavily across a prairie. Grasses sound crisp and paper like, and the bark of a coyote echoes for miles due to the resonance of sound against ice and snow.

Because I fell in love with the Fermilab property, I decided to work to protect this natural resource. Soon I joined the Fermilab Natural Areas Board of Directors (, a not-for-profit organization, and with a team of concerned citizens, we are hoping to preserve and protect the natural areas so others can also enjoy this incredible property.

Please go to Fermilab Natural Areas online – and join the team in enhancing and maintaining this incredible resource. If not this organization, try to support another near your own home. Why? Because supporting nature means you are making a difference for your children and community.

Experiencing nature is a gift – help spread the gift to the world!

Shawna Coronado says Get Healthy! Get Green! Get Community!

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  1. Todd Smith says:

    I love your comparison of the same scene from summer to winter. I used to live in Iowa and appreciate those open prairies too. Thank you for helping to protect this natural resource!

  2. tricia says:

    I agree that its important to get out and enjoy nature. i have set myself the challenge of “visiting with nature” once a week. Cheers, Tricia

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