What is Your State Doing to get Children into Nature?

About the Author

Susan Sachs Lipman (Suz) has more than 25 years experience as a writer, editor, social media manager, community builder, and advocate for getting children into nature. She is the author of Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World, which was named a TIME magazine Top 10 Trend of 2012. She has written for the New York Times Motherlode blog, the Christian Science Monitor’s Modern Parenthood blog and others. Suz serves as the Director of Social Media Promotion and Partnerships for the Children & Nature Network.

Many states around the U.S. are working to get children into nature. Maryland’s Governor recently announced that state’s Children in Nature Action Plan for 2010. California passed a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which includes 10 easy and fun things the state recommends children experience from age 4-14.

There’s more good news. In Colorado, Colorado Kids Outdoors Program legislation is making its way through the statehouse. The Kansas Coalition for Children in Nature was formed to work with state agencies to create opporturnities for children to experience nature. Connecticut’s Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection vowed to maintain a commitment to state parks and to the state’s existing No Child Left Inside” initiative.

Cities are passing legislation, too. Albuquerque, New Mexico, recently threw its unanimous support behind the Leave No Child Inside Coalition of New Mexico, which includes nearly 150 organizations and individuals who are trying to combat nature-deficit disorder. Chicago, Illinois, unveiled its own Outdoor Bill of Rights.

A new resource has been added to the mix which may make it even easier for state and local governments to pass initiatives to get children into nature. The National Wildlife Federation just released its State Policy Solutions Guide. The guide provides on-the-ground solutions that include state policy intitiatives, public health programs, schoolyard habitats, trail plans, and public greenspace protection, and could not have come at a better time. Childhood obesity is up. Children spend half the time outside that they did just 20 years ago. At the same time, a growing body of research points to the developmental, educational and health benefits of outdoor activity.

1 Comment

  1. I think that every state thinks that they are doing so much to help better the play facilities and parks, but it really is not enough. It is great to see people taking action, and everything does start with one step. I wish more states would follow these examples.


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