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News Center Items by Richard Louv

‘Kids in Parks’ Bill Flies through Nevada Senate Committee

Nevada fifth-graders could get a free pass to state parks, and the parks themselves would get more dollars for maintenance under two new bills up for approval in the Senate. Assembly Bill 385, called the “Kids and Parks” bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Yeager, hopes to give young people an opportunity to become accustomed to parks to enjoy the outdoors and get them outside and more active.The program would be administered by the Division of State Parks.

Atlanta’s Newest Public Park

In Atlanta, the now defunct Georgia Dome will be razed later this year and transformed into a new urban park. Due to open in 2018, the 13-acre park will serve as year-round community green space for arts and culture events, entertainment and community activations. As part of ongoing revitalization efforts, the park aims to serve as a backyard for those living in the surrounding Westside Atlanta neighborhoods of Vine City and English Avenue.

Access to Play a Challenge in Mumbai

In Mumbai, children’s play areas are on the decline, leaving them with extremely limited safe outdoor play options. According to the NCERT All-India Education Survey, about 75% of Mumbai schools do not have their own playgrounds. Additionally, the Mumbai Traffic Department seeks to develop over 50 acres of existing children’s play areas into pay-and-park facilities.

Project Aims to Make Toronto Streets More Child-Friendly

A partnership between Earth Day Canada and the city of Toronto launches a pilot initiative that allows neighborhoods to get a permit to transform residential streets into playing fields for children. The StreetPLAY pilot project is in part a response to a controversial bylaw forbidding street encroachment and imposing fines for such acts as leaving outdoor play equipment outside.

Park Rx Day is April 23, 2017

Participation in Park Rx Day is expected to more than double this year, with celebrations expanded to include local, state, and regional parks and public lands. An event in San Francisco alone is expected to draw 3,000 people at Crissy Field at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Park Rx Day is April 23rd.

Kids Need Access to Nature for Mental Health

The number of studies on the restorative effects of natural environments on children has grown from a handful thirty years ago to more than 500. Richard Louv, a keynote speaker at the Children and Nature Network International Conference in Vancouver from April 18-21, says the studies show that children today are more likely to report symptoms of attention disorders and depression, and are more likely to be medicated for those problems than at any time in human history.

Seoul to Expand Forest Schools

A new initiative from the Seoul Metropolitan Government will equip each city district with a ‘forest kindergarten’ outdoor space over the next few years, affording children living in urban areas a rare opportunity to experience nature. According to a new plan revealed by the Seoul Municipal Government, more than 400 forests in the city offering outdoor education programs will be opened by 2023.

Children & Nature Network International Conference Brings 800+ Leaders Working to Connect Children to Nature in 22 Countries to Vancouver, BC

To address the growing lack of nature connection, more than 800 leaders and activists from 22 countries will gather in Vancouver B.C. for the 2017 Children & Nature Network International Conference and Summit. This premier gathering of the children and nature movement brings together the world’s leading voices on creating a world in which all children benefit from nature in their daily lives.

Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds to Unveil Pop-up Park in Collaboration with Vancouver Board of Parks

To celebrate the 2017 Children & Nature Network International Conference & Summit, Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds is building a Nature-Play pop-up park in Vancouver’s Devonian Harbour Park. The pop-up park will be filled with hay bales, water, soil, mulch, burlap, twine, logs, and joyful kids building forts, playing hard, and getting dirty. The pop-up park is a collaboration with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Children & Nature Network, and the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

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