New Video – YERTpod15: In-tree-guing Discoveries in Nebraska

Dear YERTians,

We finally wrapped up our visit to Hawaii, and so that means that Ben has spent most of the last 72 hours indoors focused on Nebraska. Editing the Nebraska video, that is. Once known as the “Tree Planters’ State,” we looked at things tree-related out there.

There is more than meets the eye in Nebraska, but you have to drive to find it—particularly if it doesn’t involve corn husking. And so we drove and drove, all the way out to Wellfleet, Nebraska– to stay in a mud hut—on purpose. That’s right. The closest we’ve come to sleeping in Mother Earth happened in Nebraska of all places, at Dancing Leaf. Les and Jan Hosick are worth a visit for your whole family. Trust us, then read more about it in the breadcrumbs.

The mud hut at Dancing Leaf was made of mud and grass and tree parts, all carefully assembled without nails or pegs, to create a beautiful home. We also found ourselves quite at home with the folks at the Arbor Day Foundation in and around their Tree Adventure. Bev and Amy gave us a guided tour of the place, and even put up with us figuring out how to play the YERT theme song on a gigantic wooden xylophone. Then we were treated to fresh apple pie and apple slushies. We experienced deep tree love. Thank you, trees. And thank you, Nebraska.

Tree Husking,

Julie, Mark, and Ben (Your YERT Team)

P.S. And now for Breadcrumbs! If you want to learn more about the topics in this video, check out these resources:

  • Dancing Leaf: We could have stayed here for weeks without ever getting bored. Unfortunately, we only had time to spend a single night and glorious morning with Les and Jan Hosick. They’ve created a magical place where Native American culture comes alive within you, like nothing you’ve ever experienced. And the breakfast that they prepared for us was deliciously like nothing we had ever experienced. Sleep in the earthen igloo on a deerskin. Visit the fossil museum. Be a human again.
  • Arbor Day Foundation: If you ever visit one place in Nebraska with your kids, be sure to visit the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure. When YERT tests out a playground meant for children, we put on our kid gloves seriously. And we really enjoyed this place. We uncovered loads of creative fun ways to become more familiar with the natural world around us—stepping into a pair of hearing-aid cones that help you listen to forest sounds, and guessing the not-so-familiar smells of the plants and animals in the woods.
  • Ogalala Aquifer: This thing is a giant underground reservoir that sits partially in Nebraska, and… well, I’ll let the news speak for itself. Here’s a quote from U.S. Water News Online – “The Ogallala aquifer is the world’s largest underground water system, irrigating one-third of the nation’s corn crops and providing drinking water to Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. It contains enough water to cover the entire United States to a depth of one and one-half feet. But because of heavy usage, some water experts have pronounced it one of the fastest-disappearing aquifers in the world.” I encourage you to read more about it here, then think twice about your water consumption. Indeed, YERT has decided to focus on water for our next eco-challenge. Stay tuned…


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