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Greetings from Grandma!

Grandma Spider Photo by Rick Ahrens

Grandma Garden Spider, that is! I’m writing from the Learnscape in Alton Baker Park. I may not be your grandma, but I’m sure I’ve got thousands of grandkids out there somewhere. We’re not in close touch because everyone in my family is pretty independent, but I do sometimes see my relatives’ sparkly webs, all dressed up with dew on chilly fall mornings.

I’m reaching out today because my human friends at Nearby Nature asked me to do them a favor. They work really hard to sustain the web of life that keeps me and all my natural neighbors happy and healthy, but they need your help. Can you make a donation to support their important work? They don’t need your extra insects (although you’re welcome to toss those in my web). They need a different kind of donation – bucks they said, not bugs, but more on that later…

So why did I agree to give Nearby Nature’s story a spidery spin? Truth is, I’ve had my eight eyes on this group of humans for quite some time now. I love how they can cast a web of sorts into their community and inspire hundreds of helpers, volunteers I believe they’re called, to do everything from plant flowers to paint murals. Just this year, Nearby Nature volunteers spent 2,500+ hours restoring habitat, gardening, and caring for the park. They also devoted 4,000+ hours to hanging around outside with kids, biking, catching bugs (my favorite pastime!), building forts, doing science projects, and connecting in all sorts of ways with nature nearby. Last summer I met one of those young humans in the garden and it was so cool how he just seemed to get it – everybody matters in the web of life, even little critters like me!

Anyway, I’m confident that YOU can help Nearby Nature out with a special contribution this winter. With your support there’s so much more connecting they can do. Check out the choices they suggested below.

Become a member — or renew your current membership. Enjoy free events (Nature Quests, Green Start Play Days, Citizen Science Saturdays, and the Haunted Hike) as well as program discounts, while also supporting Nearby Nature’s education and restoration efforts.

Purchase a $55 Community Friends Membership. Nearby Nature will give this membership to a family in need so they can attend Nature Quests and Green Start Play Days for free – and maybe even meet me!

Donate to the Alton Baker Park Caretaking Fund. Nearby Nature will use your gift to help sponsor a habitat restoration or litter patrol project. Just $100 will cover a work party for 30-60 of those dedicated volunteers I’ve been admiring.

— Contribute to the Youth Scholarship Fund
. Young people of all ages should have a chance to discover, learn, and grow in nature, just like those tots to teens I’ve been watching from my web. Nearby Nature hopes to raise $6,500+ this winter so no one gets left out in 2020.

I guess I’ll wrap this up for now. I have business to attend to on the web. Take care and please remember me and my kind human friends at Nearby Nature when you’re supporting your community this winter. Thanks again for your support and for making a donation today!

All my best,


P.S. I hope you weren’t alarmed to get this letter from an arachnid. Really, we garden spiders are quite harmless to humans. I hope you’ll give generously to Nearby Nature this winter!