News Center Items by Jason Morris

Salzburg Global Fellows from “The Child in the City” Program Publishes Statement on Importance of Parks and Play for Children’s Health

The Salzburg Global Fellows, a group of experts in urban planning, childhood development, conservation, environmental policy, and health, have called on leaders to ensure all children enjoy the right to safe, free play in a nature-rich space within a 10-minute walk from home. The call to action was part of a larger Salzburg Statement which outlines policies, practices, investments as well as actions that can transform cities for children. The Salzburg Global program The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, a series held in partnership with the IUCN and Huffington Foundation.

Israel’s First Outdoor Preschool Inspires Others

Israel’s first forest kindergarten is inspiring a forest school movement in the country. The school, Gan Keshet, which means “rainbow kindergarten” in Hebrew, is a public school in the remote town of Mitzpe Ramon. After the ministry of education designated it an official model school, hundreds of educators, students and parents have flocked to the school to learn about its approach. Several private forest kindergartens opened in Israel this school year, and more public pilots are planned for next year.

UN Links Child-Friendliness to Environment

A report from The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding its General Discussion Day on children and the environment makes links between children’s freedom to play, and their ability to enjoy a healthy, sustainable environment. The report calls on municipalities to do more to protect these important children’s rights and for governments to use planning regulations to ensure “the play and child-friendliness of all environments.”

National Get Outdoors Day Celebrated Across the US

Saturday, June 10, 2017, marks the 10th annual “National Get Outdoors Day” (GO Day). The event is intended to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at sites across the nation. Participants from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the recreation industry will offer opportunities for American families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. Key goals of the day are reaching currently underserved populations as well as first-time visitors to public lands, and reconnecting youth to the great outdoors. Along with several state parks, the U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at their day-use recreation sites on Saturday for “National Get Outdoors Day.”

The Child and Nature Movement Grows in Brazil

The Brazil-based Alana Institute will host “II Children and Nature Seminar” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20th. The event brings experts together to talk about how schools, cities and public spaces can encourage children’s encounters with nature by reorganizing time, transposing walls, and shaping adult’s perspectives. Tijuca National Park is a partnering organization for the event.

Indiana Celebrates Nature Play Days Week

Indiana celebrates Nature Play Days Week from June 10-18. The event, sponsored by the Indiana Children and Nature Network, is intended to encourage families to play outdoors and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits nature play provides. The primary goal of Nature Play Days is to reconnect children with the outdoors and provide a space for outdoor exploration and fun. Across Indiana over 100 events will be offered free of charge at nature centers, museums, libraries, and parks.

INTO THE FOLD: A Young Leader Finds Her Community

Arriving in Vancouver this past April to attend the Children & Nature Network 2017 Conference, I was excited — and yet a little trepidatious. As Families in Nature’s newest and youngest employee, I felt honored to be invited by our Executive Director to...

Back to Nature: Getting Dirty Boosts Child Development, Say Experts

In Japan, “adventure parks” that encourage children to engage all five senses to experience the outdoors, are popping up all around the country. At one such park, Miyakubo Play Park, which opened in March of last year, children can play with rope, start fires, make old-fashioned toys, or play in a rice paddy-like mud pit.

Great Outdoors Colorado Encouraging Kids Under 12 to Get Outside

The environmental organization Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) has started a new campaign called Generation Wild to get youngsters reconnected with nature. The campaign is intended to foster children’s healthy development through nature. GOCO Generation Wild’s newest project is a “bucket list” called “100 Things To Do Before You’re 12”, and includes ideas for enriching outdoor activities for kids, such as making mud pies and dancing in the rain.


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