Resort Based Nature Programs

“According to a recent survey conducted by the Travel Association of America, all of the top 10 destinations selected by American travelers represented outdoor experiences, with 8 out of the 10 being natural environments.” Writes Caren Osten Gerszberg, in her article for New York Times Travel; Stay in a Hotel; See Wildlife.

“WHEN Alex Klein, age 10, and her 8-year-old brother, Hugh, got back to their hotel after a day of skiing during their winter vacation, they found themselves participating in an unusual après-ski activity. In a large, open meadow, the siblings watched as a Harris’s hawk with a three-foot wingspan landed on their father’s gloved hand. “It was a little scary, but very cool,” said Alex.

Other resorts are hiring naturalists, ecologists and biologists to educate guests of all ages about specific ecology-related topics. At the Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada in the Florida Keys, Captain Elizabeth Jolin — known as “the fish whisperer”— takes visitors on a boating excursion to explore the ecological systems of this string of islands, which divides the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Bay.

Perhaps what’s most gratifying for parents is their children’s new knowledge. After a recent visit to the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, my 10-year-old daughter, Emily, had learned the four principles of the resort’s Ambassadors of the Environment program: everything runs on energy; nothing is wasted; biodiversity is good; and everything is connected.”