Great Outdoors: New Years resolutions and more

And there we have it, another year in the books.

I can’t believe it. Did any of you go watch the big mushroom drop? I haven’t done that yet, but it will be on my bucket list to do some day. For now, with two little kids, who am I kidding — we don’t stay up until midnight. It looks like a lot of fun though and I’m glad that our region has another fun thing to be known for.

Another thing that I have on my bucket list is to attend the Mummers Parade. I have only been once as a kid and someday I want to take my own boys. I actually was invited to a club’s clubhouse on 2nd Street (or 2 street to the locals) to watch the informal 2-Street parade and participate in the partying. I declined as it just wasn’t a good week for my one son and I didn’t want to leave him out. We would have been outside, but I’d hardly call it an outdoors activity.

One thing that caught my eye was that some of the local parks were hosting First Day Hikes to encourage people to get outdoors more. It was a great inspiration to a new year and I wish I would have seen it in my news feed prior to New Year’s Day, as we probably would have gone. I also saw a Christmastime bird count which I didn’t read about until too late. I would have loved to have done that rather than wait for Presidents weekend. So for me, 2015 has started out with a bunch of missed opportunities, unfortunately.

Still, I have my resolutions and I plan to keep them. Here are my outdoors New Year’s Resolutions, maybe you’ll be interested in doing a few.

1. Finally get my yard certified as a wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. I’ve written about this many times, started my own application many times, but never have followed through. This is the year we get it done!

2. Make our yard an official butterfly habitat. I have always had butterfly bushes in my yard, but I recently spoke with some butterfly farmers (butterfly farmers! Who knew they existed?) and I’m only about a third of the way there. Butterfly bushes are a great way to attract butterflies to your yard, but there is more to the process. I’ll elaborate more in the spring when I do this.

3. Learn to identify five different butterflies. I know most of the local birds that I see and that visit our feeders. So now I’m moving on to butterflies. I think I might add … learn to identify three different birds by song rather than by sight.

4. Visit a park every week with my kids, and never the same park within a two-month period. I wanted to maybe challenge myself and never visit the same part twice. I have that thought in the back of my mind, but if I go two months and need to repeat, not going to beat myself up over it. That we’re outside is what matters.

5. Go on a two-night overnight camping trip with both kids.

And that’s it. What are some of your resolutions? Email them to me at

Outdoor enthusiast Lisa Lightner lives in Avondale.

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