How libraries can nurture a love of nature

Are you a nature lover? Would you like to deepen your nature connection? Here are twenty ways the library can support your love of nature or help develop one in 2020:


Let’s start with the obvious. What may not be so obvious, though, are the different genres that can feed your nature-loving soul. Nature-based poetry or fiction, for example, can offer unique observations and insights. Books about natural history and conservation will offer information you may not have considered before. And books featuring nature crafts? Even adults should engage in some playful creativity and working with natural found objects is a wonderful sensory experience that will help you notice features you may not have before. So why not live on the wild side and check out a genre that you don’t typically read:

  • nature crafts
  • camping/outdoor adventures
  • field guides/topic specific
  • poetry
  • fiction
  • science (physics, biology, ecology, astronomy, etc.)
  • memoirs/biographies
  • natural history/conservation
  • personal connection/transformation/parenting


Documentaries offer stunning footage and educational, sometimes witty, narratives. They allow us a glimpse of life in other parts of the world we may never get to see otherwise. Here’s a look at some in our collection. And don’t rule out movies made for entertainment to get your nature fix–there are some gems if you just do a little searching. Do you love birds? Try The Big Year or A Birder’s Guide to Everything or how about movies like Wild or A River Runs Through It?


Did you know you can check out a pair of binoculars? Stop in and see us before your next adventure.


There’s always something interesting to see in the night sky, some of them better viewed with a telescope. For example, there will be a visible comet passing by this month that you may want to check out. Check out some astronomy books, too. We have a nice selection for kids and adults, like this one or this.


Fishing season will be here soon. Don’t have a pole? We do! You can also join us for our annual fishing rally this summer. It’s always a fun morning.

Visiting Organization Talks/Presentations

We partner with the Cathance River Education Alliance to present the CREA Community Nature Programs Lecture Series which are held once a month. We have also hosted other organizations like the Center for Wildlife and Chewonki. Check our calendar from time to time to see if there’s a topic that interests you.

Book Groups

Currently, there is a Nature Speaks book group running at the library that focuses on environmental issues and what can be done on a local level. They are currently reading Hidden World Revealed: Musings of a Maine Naturalist by local author, Tom Seymour. If you’d like to join, pop in for one of their get-togethers.

Gardens/Topsham Garden Club

The Topsham Garden Club presents monthly programs at the library which are open to the public. Guest speakers present programs on a variety of horticultural and environmental interests. The topic for March is “Ecology of a Garden”. Check our schedule for dates and topics of future presentations.

And of course, we have lovely gardens to stroll through. They are full of color and texture and scents for most of the year. You may even notice something of interest in the winter.

Art Exhibits

Did you see the wildlife art exhibit this past December? The paintings were stunning. But not to worry, artists are often inspired by nature (pieces in the recent Joy of Art was a perfect example) and there will surely be many upcoming exhibits in the Crooker Gallery featuring beautiful images of nature.

Museum Passes

Speaking of art, the Portland Museum of Art has wonderful collections and visiting exhibits and we have passes. Reserve one for a time that’s convenient for you.

River Path

Located behind the rear lawn of the library is the Eagle Path, a short trail that follows a ridge alongside the Androscoggin River. While less than a half-mile long, the trail provides views of the rivers and provides access to a lush wetland ecosystem. Keep your eyes out for ducks, herons and a variety of plant life.

Bird Watching

You can certainly do some bird watching down at the river path but you can also hang out near our gardens and enjoy the birds that visit the feeders. Volunteers make sure they are always full for our feathered friends. If you need some help identifying birds you see or would like to learn more about them, check out one of our field guides to bring along.

The best resource, however, comes from you. There is no better tool than your curiosity.

Until next time, stay curious and get outside to notice nature!