Children and Nature: Growing Estranged

Children and Nature: Growing Estranged
My dad taught me years ago we don’t plant trees for ourselves, we plant them for our grandchildren. It was the most important lesson he ever taught me — living my life today as if the future matters.

In my role as chairman of the Three Rivers Park Board, I have come to appreciate his farsighted philosophy even more. It’s not simply about planting trees. It’s about a commitment to long-term stewardship — of our environment, and for our children.

A book was published a few years ago making this very point. “Last Child in the Woods” documents the importance of direct exposure to nature for developing the physical and emotional health of children. Among the startling factoids:

• By the 1990s, the radius around the home where children were allowed to roam on…
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