How Volume 1 of “My Nature Exploration” Became a Lyrical Tale Told

By Vicente Harrison, Author and Bird Alliance of Oregon Board Member

Discovering the intricate beauty that can be found in nature is as easy as opening one’s back door. My Nature Exploration is a story about a kid named “little Harrison” who decides to go on an adventure in his own backyard. 

This book is intended to help all children, but particularly children of color, develop an appreciation for nature. Data has proven that People of Color disproportionately access the outdoors and outdoor recreational activities at a much lower rate than other Americans. Studies have also shown that exposure and time in natural environments promotes positive mental and physical health. I was inspired to write My Nature Exploration to break through boundaries that prevent marginalized communities from accessing nature and receiving its benefits. 

I am also driven to encourage more members of our black community to seek out and support organizations providing youth with fun activities and education that pertains to the outdoors. 

While reading My Nature Exploration to children, you will journey along with “little Harrison” as he witnesses squirrels frolicking in the trees, feels the thick cushion of green grass under his feet, smells the sweet scent of fresh spring flowers, and hears the singing of indigenous birds nesting nearby. As his imagination grows, it prompts him to adventure beyond the borders of his backyard in search of new discoveries at a campground. With this book I was mindful to encourage children who may not have access to go very far and began this adventure from a practical place. A backyard is something to signify home or in your neighborhood. Some children may not have a backyard, but we all have the outdoors at our fingertips if we take the time to notice what is always around us.


There are many facets that inspired me to create this first volume of My Nature Exploration. My parents influenced me, especially my father. He introduced me to the outdoors and wildlife. People from Indigenous Tribes, John Muir, poet Langston Hughes, and my sister Lisa Harrison-Jackson, who is also a published author. Furthermore, the late Charles Jordan, a leader in our community, helped pave the way for me to have these opportunities as well as other colleagues who have supported my growth. This children’s book is a culmination of my experiences, created to encourage others.

My Nature Exploration is a lyrical tale accompanied by equally captivating illustrations designed by my niece Chandler Jackson, complete with plenty of detail guaranteed to win over the interest of little explorers. Included as a bonus are interactive activities that will pull young people from their smart devices and into the physical world.